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This is how double-masking and fitters can help us minimize the chances of COVID-19 infection by 96.4%, according to CDC

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This is how double-masking and fitters can help us minimize the chances of COVID-19 infection by 96.4%, according to CDC
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The CDC’s advice of double masking and improving the fit has come in the wake of increasing numbers of infections following the emergence of new variants across different parts of the United States. 

Masks have been with us all the way through to pandemic and needless to mention, they have played an undeniably significant role in shielding us against the coronavirus disease. But, what if you get to know that wearing the mask ‘correctly’ or ‘differently’?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come up with a new set of advice that throws light on correct and preferred ways of wearing masks that can drastically reduce the chances of infection.

The CDC conducted a study to determine whether wearing two masks instead of one, can help decrease the chances of contracting a virus through the oral or nasal gateway.

The findings of the study that were published on Wednesday suggested that wearing two masks or double-masking can significantly control the transmission of the virus.

It was concluded that wearing one mask, either surgical or a cloth-mask, reduced 40% probability of infection, whereas covering the face with two masks i.e wearing a cloth mask on top of the surgical mask, or even securing the loops of surgical masks with a knot while ticking the extra material in, reduced the chances of transmission by nearly 96.4%.

A saviour fit!

The CDC strongly recommends wearing masks that fit well. This will prevent the wearer from inhaling the droplets causing infection. Mask fitters or braces can also be utilized to ensure the perfect fitting of masks. Masks with nose wires also help the masks snug better. You can also simply knot the additional loose bit of the ear loop around itself.

Layering

Layering is another aspect that the CDC lauds a significant emphasis on as discussed above. A cloth mask and a medical/ surgical mask are two masks that the CDC recommends for layering or double-masking. An additional tip to the trick is that you can wear a cloth mask at the top of the disposable mask to ensure fit and layering both in one go. The organization highly recommends against layering two disposable masks over one another, since they will not fight appropriately hence leaving room for the virus to enter.

Given that the agency has come up with recommendations regarding ways of wearing masks to improve their efficacy and the degree of protection against the virus, the filters have gained massive demand. While you can always get your hands on the ready-made fitters such as braces and seals that are available out there, you can also make a fitter at home.

A DIY fitter

A set of instructional guidelines has been issued by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Makerspace Dept on how to create its Badger Seal mask fitters. These were found to be effective in ensuring a good fit for the mask, leaving no gaps for transmission. Costing less than $1 and just a couple of minutes the badger seal can be made at home.

“Warning: While our fitter seems to improve the seal of a face mask, it has not been tested for effectiveness in preventing illness, and you should use it at your own risk,” the Makerspace Department stated.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) described the process for printing a customized mask fitter manufactured by Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California with the help of a 3D printer and face scanning app BELLUS3D. The NIH has also confirmed its approval.

The CDC’s advice of double masking and improving the fit has come in the wake of increasing numbers of infections following the emergence of new variants across different parts of the United States. It is always advisable to follow the minimum required steps. Prevention, after all,  is better than cure!