With the rapid spread of Coronavirus globally many are scrambling to get air filtration masks in order to prevent catching it. Stores in China are out of stock. But do air masks help?
If you wear the right type, it helps. The CDC recommends that healthcare practitioners wear N95 respirators, face masks that filter at least 95% of airborne particles.
While these N95 masks protect from large respiratory droplets (a spray from a sneeze or mucus from a cough), they don’t prevent against much smaller airborne droplets. They are not 100% effective in totally preventing coronavirus transmission.
N99 masks which filter out 99% of airborne particles may also offer slightly better protection. However, if you wear a mask in an area with people infected, do not take unnecessary chances. Wear the right sized mask and always remember to wash your hands as the surfaces or objects that your hand touches may be infected.