What should you know about face masks made of cloth?

ما الذي يجب أن تعرفه عن الكمامات المصنوعة من القماش؟

Jessica Dolcourt – cnet:

Face masks that you make at home or buy online are believed to provide a degree of protection against getting sick from the coronavirus, in as much as it can keep larger particles from spraying into the air when you cough, spit or sneeze. But what about the tinier particles that many homemade masks and coverings aren’t as good at stopping? 

And why have attitudes changed so quickly, with wearing a face mask in public places even mandatory in some areas? Is it recommended to wear masks any time you go outside, or only in some places? Should you wear face masks even when lockdown lifts and cities reopen?

We don’t have answers to every question. But with the coronavirus causing over 3.3 million cases and over 235,000 deaths worldwide, people are turning to homemade masks in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease. 

This article updates frequently, as advice and information about homemade masks and the coronavirus continue to evolve. It’s intended as a resource to help you understand the current situation as presented by organizations such as the CDC and American Lung Association, but shouldn’t serve as medical advice. 

How can wearing nonmedical masks in public help?

For months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended medical-grade face masks for people who were presumed to be or confirmed to be ill with COVID-19, as well as for medical care workers. But spiking cases across the US and especially in hotspots like New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, Louisiana and Arizona have proven that current measures haven’t been strong enough to flatten the curve.

There’s also data that there may be some benefit to wearing a homemade mask in crowded places like the supermarket, versus no face covering at all. Social distancing and hand-washing are still paramount (more below).

Shortly after the CDC changed its recommendation to wear masks, American Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Dr. Albert Rizzo said this in an emailed statement:

The wearing of the masks by all individuals can give some degree of barrier protection from respiratory droplets that are coughed or sneezed around them. Early reports show that the virus can live in droplets in the air for up to one to three hours after an infected individual has left an area. Covering your face will help prevent these droplets from getting into the air and infecting others.

Homemade masks may help protect others from you

According to the American Lung Association, one in four people infected with COVID-19 might show mild symptoms or none at all. Using a cloth face covering when you’re around others can help block large particles that you might eject through a cough, sneeze or unintentionally launched saliva (e.g., through speaking), which could slow the spread of transmission to others if you don’t know you’re sick.

“These types of masks are not intended to protect the wearer, but to protect against the unintended transmission — in case you are an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus,” the American Lung Association says in a blog post that discusses wearing homemade masks (emphasis ours).

What the CDC says about homemade face masks today

The most important takeaway from the CDC’s message is that covering your face when you leave the house is a “voluntary public health measure” and must not replace proven precautions like self-quarantine at home, social distancing and thoroughly washing your hands.

The CDC is the US authority on protocols and protections against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In the CDC’s words, it “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” (The emphasis is the CDC’s.)

The institute says not to seek out medical or surgical-grade masks for yourself and to leave N95 respirator masks to health care workers, opting instead for basic cloth or fabric coverings that can be washed and reused. Previously, the agency considered homemade face masks a last resort in hospitals and medical facilities. 

Keep reading for more on the CDC’s original stance on homemade masks.

The right way to wear a face covering or cloth face mask

The most important thing is to cover your entire nose and mouth, which means that the face mask should fit underneath your chin. The covering will be less effective if you remove it from your face when you’re in a crowded store, like to speak to someone. For example, it’s better to adjust your covering before you leave your car, rather than while waiting in line at the supermarket. Read on for why fit is so important.

Can you reuse your face mask?

Homemade masks and coverings made from cloth fabric are machine-washable. Medical-grade masks ideally are single-use, though in certain hospital environments, the severe shortage of N95 masks is making procedural exceptions a necessity. The FDA approved an emergency sterilization procedure for N95 masks in medical environments only. Here’s what you need to know about mask cleaning and reuse.

source: cnet


في إطار جهود الحد من انتشار فيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) تطالب المزيد من الدول المواطنين بتغطية الأنف والفم عندما يكونون خارج المنزل. وغالبا ما تشجع السلطات على استخدام الكمامات المصنوعة من القماش حتى تظل الكمامات الطبية متوفرة للعاملين في مجال الرعاية الصحية.

وفيما يلي بعض المعلومات الخاصة بارتداء الكمامة البديلة:

بشكل عام، هذه الكمامات البديلة لا تفي بالمعايير المطلوبة للكمامات الجراحية. فحتى إذا ما كنت ترتدي كمامة، يجب الالتزام بقواعد التباعد الاجتماعي والانتباه للقيام بالسعل والعطس بالطريقة الملائمة، إما بالابتعاد عن الآخرين أو في ثنية المرفق.

إن الكمامات مفيدة بلا شك، فهي إشارة مرئية للآخرين أنك واع لخطر فيروس كورونا. كما أنها تلتقط الرذاذ المنبعث خلال الكلام أو الضحك وبالتالي تحمي الآخرين، إلى حد ما، إذا كنت مصابا.

كما أن الكمامة تقي الشخص الذي يرتديها إلى حد ما، فهي تمنعه من لمس أنفه وفمه بأيد ملوثة، وقد تمنع الجراثيم من دخول الجسم.

يعد القماش ذو النسيج الضيق ملائم بشكل أفضل من النسيج الواسع للكمامات البديلة، بحسب المعهد الاتحادي الألماني للعقاقير والأجهزة الطبية. ولكن يجب ألا يتم حياكتها بشكل ضيق للغاية بحيث يصعب التنفس معها. وتقول وزارة الصحة في بافاريا، وهي إحدى الولايات الألمانية الأكثر تضررا بفيروس كورونا، إنه من الأفضل حياكة الكمامات من قماش مصنوع من القطن بنسبة مئة بالمئة.

وبعد إزالة الكمامة البديلة يفضل غسلها مباشرة بمنظف ملابس وفي مياه لا تقل حرارتها عن 60 درجة مئوية.

ويجب غسل اليدين قبل ارتداء الكمامة وبعد خلعها.

وإذا ما كان النسيج قويا، يمكن تعقيم الكمامة بالكي أو وضعها في فرن دافئ. كما يمكن أيضا وضعها داخل جهاز الميكروويف إلا إذا كانت الكمامة تحتوي على سلك، وهو ما يتسبب في اندلاع حريق.

وإذا كنت تعرف كيف تمسك بالإبرة والخيط، يمكنك أن تصنع كمامتك بنفسك، والأنواع متوفرة على الإنترنت. وإذا لم تكن تمتلك المهارة أو الخامات المطلوبة، يمكن ببساطة شراء كمامة أو يكفي تغطية الفم والأنف والخدين بوشاح أو بقطعة من القماش.

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