Advice on the use of masks in Influenza A (H1N1) outbreaks


The unlikely culprits

Why is it so different? This is the first flu pandemic in 41 years

Main route of human-to-human transmission of the new Influenza A (H1N1) virus is via respiratory droplets.

Any person who is in close contact (approximately 1 meter) with someone who has influenza-like symptoms (fever, sneezing, coughing, running nose, chills, muscle ache etc) is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets Considered potentially contagious as long as, • they are symptomatic and • for up to 7 days following illness onset.

Precautions when traveling / visiting public places

• Medical masks should fit the user's face tightly and be discarded immediately after use. If the mask gets wet or dirty with secretions, it must be changed immediately

Face Masks
• Facemasks are loose-fitting, disposable masks that cover the nose and mouth.
# Designed to cover the mouth and nose loosely # Usually strapped behind the head # Made of soft materials and are comfortable to wear

• A respirator is designed to protect you from breathing in very small particles, which might contain viruses. These types of respirators fit tightly to the face so that most air is inhaled through the filter material.

• Surgical N95 respirators or higher- (N-> not resistant to oil, 95-> filter out 95% of inhalable particles)

• N95 respirators that are FDAcleared as surgical masks, as well as NIOSH-certified as respirators

Using a mask incorrectly may actually increase the risk of transmission, rather than reduce it.
•Never reuse a mask. That would increase risk of flu infection. •Also, Medical masks may not offer adequate respiratory protection against small-particle aerosols (droplet nuclei).

Other barrier options
• Tissues,(dispose carefully) • Handkerchiefs, • Cloth

People in close contact with Confirmed cases of swine flu should use Respirators

Reduce time spent in crowded settings.

Improve airflow in your living space by opening windows as much as possible.

• place mask carefully to cover mouth and nose • minimize any gaps between the face and the mask • while in use, avoid touching the mask • Wash hands regularly • replace masks with a new clean, dry mask as soon as they become damp/humid • do not re-use single-use masks..

Take care. Help stop an epidemic.

Use proper N95 masks in Public places
In public interest

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