Do face masks really help protect you from viral infections?

Face masks have always been an important resource when it comes to preventing the spreading of any kind of virus. In recent times, when all of us are battling the Coronavirus pandemic, we have come to realize the importance of face masks.

Wearing a face mask helps in the prevention of spreading any kind of virus and thus prevents individuals from contracting airborne infectious germs.

When we are physically in close contact with someone who coughs, talks, sneezes they are capable of releasing germs in the air that has the ability to infect us. Face masks play a crucial role in the infection control strategy to eliminate cross-contamination.


Recently we are battling with coronavirus and COVID 19, According to the Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC), simply covering one’s face with a mask can help to reduce the spread of the disease.

CDC advises that people cover their mouth and their noses with a cloth in community settings. This measure is a necessary additional measure that can help in the spreading of the coronavirus.
The CDC also recommends the healthcare workers always wear face masks to prevent the contraction of any kind of virus from their patients.

The CDC also notes that patients who are suffering from any sort of respiratory infection must at all times wear face masks if they’re in a healthcare setting and only take it off once they are isolated.
If you yourself are sick, you should be aware enough to make sure that you are at all times wearing a face mask if you are in public and have the ability to spread the virus to other people too.


In the past, scientists were not sure that wearing face masks would prevent spreading the virus. However, recently the studies have shown that they sure do help us.

In the study in 2013, we were able to observe that masks could help in limiting the seasonal flu and also help in limiting the spreading of it as when the people infected by it exhale they also exhale tiny droplets containing the virus.
Overall it was observed that masks helped in a threefold reduction of the virus reaching people through the medium of air.

There was another study that analyzed the data of thousands of Japanese schoolchildren. It was found that vaccination along with wearing a mask always reduced the likelihood of developing the seasonal flu.
The most important thing observed was that masks when they are paired along with proper hand hygiene, instantly lowered the rates of people contracting flu.

In simpler words, washing one’s hands properly from time to time helps in preventing the spread of any sort of virus.


There are many different types of masks that one can use in protecting themselves from infections.
Most importantly there are three types of masks.

1. Surgical mask – These are loose fitted, disposable masks that are provided by food and drug administration to be used by the doctors as medical devices. These masks are able to prevent any sort of bodily fluid that may contain any type of germs or infections. These can reach the person near the infected person through their nose or mouth.

Thus, they can protect one from splashes and sprays such as sneeze and cough from other people.
But these average masks easily available in your nearby chemist shops aren’t enough to protect one from viruses.

For the purpose of protection from viruses, specialists recommend a special mask with a fine mesh product that has the ability to capture very small organisms. These have to be worn correctly for them to work.
These can easily be found on Amazon.

2. Respirators – The respirators also known as the N95 respirator masks, are designed in such a way that they are able to protect the person wearing them from particles in the air, such as viruses. They have been certified by the CDC and National Institute for Occupational Safety and health.

The name N95 is obtained from the fact that they have the ability to filter ninety – five percent of airborne particles, as stated by the CDC. N95 is also used by people working and handling potentially toxic materials.
Respirators are selected to fit your face. They have to fit and seal your face in such a way that no gap is left for airborne viruses to enter.

Healthcare workers use this as a device for protection from diseases, such as tuberculosis and anthrax.
Respirators have the ability to filter both small as well as large particles.
Respirators are considered way more effective in case prevention from flu and viruses than regular face masks.

These are also easily available on Amazon.

3. Cloth face-covering – Cloth can be used by you when you’re in a public setting such as a grocery store. Here, the close contact with people is unavoidable and thus distance becomes impossible to achieve.

These, of course, don’t provide the same protection as N95 masks or surgical masks would, but they sure are effective when it comes to prevention from community spread of any virus. This is done by preventing people from spreading any type of virus through their nose or mouth.

You can make your own at home using a few basic materials, such as cotton fabric, a T-shirt, or a bandana. The CDC includes instructions for sewing your own with a machine as well as two no-sew methods.


  1. Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching the face mask.
  2. Remove mask from the dispenser or box and make sure the masks do not have any holes or tears.
  3. Make sure you determine which side is the top and which is the front of the mask, so you can properly wear the mask.
  4. The Face masks with ear loops: hold by the ear loops and put the loops around each ear.
  5. Types of Face masks with ties: bring the mask to your nose and place the ties over your head to secure with a tie.
  6. Face masks with bands: hold the mask to your nose and pull the top strap over the crown of your head and pull the bottom strap over your head so its at the nape of your neck.
  7. Pull the mask over your mouth and chin.


When it comes to wearing a mask one should understand that it is not a personal choice, especially when are infected by a virus. It becomes your responsibility as a part of a community to make sure that if you are capable of passing the virus to other people you take all the precautions in your hand to make sure you don’t spread it further. Especially in such challenging times when the whole world is battling with the coronavirus pandemic, it is the duty of each and every person to prioritize their health and always wear a mask until and unless they are isolated.

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