Why Not to use a Medical Mask during this H1N1 (swine flu) hype
I recently noticed many people wearing "Medical Masks" at places like Airports and Malls. I have even noticed people wearing them out in the open, as they stand with no one around.
Because of this, I would like to dismiss some quick myths about the H1N1 (Swine Flu) and most types of influenza. I will also explain why the masks may do more harm than good.
- H1N1 is an airborne virus (FALSE)
The H1N1 virus is not airborne, to be considered an airborne virus, the microorganism would have to survive or remain in the air for long periods of time. The H1N1 virus, like all influenza viruses do not stay in the air in some sort of suspended animation. When a person sneezes, the virus is transferred via the droplets of the sneeze, if someone is infected this way it is known as infection by "Droplet contact" or a "Respiratory Route"
- You can get H1N1 from Pork (FALSE)
Just like H5N1 (Avian Flu) you cannot contract the virus by the consumption of cooked meats. Eating pork is still as safe as it was years ago, so go ahead and eat normally.
Now here are some reasons why I do not recommend people wear "Medical Masks"
I have noticed many people wearing masks in crowded placed like airports, here is the problem. Places like airports, malls, etc. are full of germs and bacteria which just lingers around constantly. If a small amount of bacteria gets into a crevasse or hole in the mask you will be providing a breeding ground for the bacteria, which may lead to an illness or infection. The moisture you produce in your mask is perfect for bacteria and viruses, and may be a recipe for disaster.
If you do plan on wearing a mask, be sure it is of high quality and completely seal around your face. These are very expensive, and if not used properly can be counterproductive, so beware buyer. If you are given masks by an employer be sure to inspect the quality of the mask. This may be a placebo or sort.
The way to avoid the H1N1 virus is, to avoid physicall contact with people who may be sick or infected. And avoiding commonly touched surfaces like escalator railings, poles, etc. for some instances where it is necesarry to touch a commonly used surface (like elevator buttons) be creative and try using you elbow, suitcase, etc. carrying around some anti bacterial hand sanitizer wouldn't hurt, and remember to avoid eye, nose and mouth contact with your hands.