The World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus as a worldwide health emergency. The Coronavirus has landed in India and you should take heed. With the outbreak of the virus, face masks will be sold out everywhere.
A question arises then, do face masks work in preventing the coronavirus? Well, according to a study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, masks were found to be 80% effective in protecting influenza-like illnesses when worn consistently.
Wearing a mask will not guarantee protection but it will be a preventive measure and quite often, that makes all the difference (prevention is the cure and all that).
If you just want the best face masks to protect against coronavirus in India, then this is the list:
What is the Coronavirus?
Coronavirus are a large family of viruses that causes different illnesses such as the common flu to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel strain of coronavirus (n-CoV) has been identified and this is the virus you have been hearing about in the news.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Misconceptions about the coronavirus
- Receptors for coronavirus are deep in a person’s lungs – a person must inhale enough of the virus that it can actually bind to those receptors deep in the lungs.
- Coronavirus is transmitted via larger droplets that fall quickly out of the air (for example, after a sneeze). This virus is not airborne.
- Coronavirus is not something that people can get from casual contact. A person must be in close contact (within 2 metres) with somebody to be able to inhale those droplets if a person coughs or sneezes without cover, in front of them.
- The droplets can fall to the ground after a sneeze and a person can touch them with their hands. The risk of transmission is low in this case, as those droplets must be of significant enough quantity to make it to the receptors in a person’s lungs.
- If a person has touched something that has droplets on it with coronavirus in it, as long as they clean their hands before touching their face or your mouth, they are not at risk of getting that virus in their body.
- Coronavirus is not something that comes in through the skin. This virus is remitted through large droplets that are breathed deep into a person’s lungs.
- Regarding wearing masks – masks should be used by sick people to prevent transmission to other people. A mask will help keep a person’s droplets in.
- It may be less effective to wear a mask in the community when a person is not sick themselves. Masks may give a person a false sense of security & are likely to increase the number of times a person will touch their own face – to adjust the mask.
- The most important thing that a person can do to prevent themselves from getting coronavirus is to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face.
- Cover your mouth when you cough so you’re not exposing other people. If you are sick yourself, stay away from others. Contact your health care provider ahead of time so you can be safely assessed.
What are the different types of masks?
There are two types of masks – disposable respirators and reusable respirators.
Disposable respirator masks which we are talking about in this article are usually half-face and used for protection against airborne particles.
Reusable respirator masks are available in both full-face and half-face variety. They protect not only from airborne particles but gases, fumes etc.
These masks come in three categories:
Each of these series have different efficiency possibilities: 95, 99 and 100.
N-series (N95, N99 and N100)
These types of masks are not resistant to oil and protect against particulates which do not have oil in them. Examples of common non-oil based solid particulates include dust related to coal, iron ore, metal, wood and pollen.
The difference between these three levels of masks is the level of efficiency. The higher the level, the higher the efficiency in filtering. The most commonly used mask is the N95.
Unlike the N-Series, the R-Series particulate respirators are resistant to oil, which means they provide protection against both solid and liquid aerosol particulates that may contain oil. R-series respirators, however, are only certified for up to 8 hours of service life. For this reason, they are the least popular.
P-Series (P95 & P100)
P-Series particulate respirators are similar to the R-series in that they provide protection against both solid and liquid aerosol particulates that may contain oil. The service life of P-Series particulate respirators, however, is substantially longer, with NIOSH recommended disposal after 40 hours or 30 days of use, whichever comes first. This extended service life is contingent on the mask being undamaged with no detectable breathing resistances.
What is Particulate Matter (PM)?
Particulate matter is the sum of all solid and liquid particles suspended in air many of which are hazardous. The mixture contains both dust, pollen, soot, smoke and liquid drops.
Usually, particulate matter less than 10 is dangerous as it can pass through the nose and throat and enter the lungs.
The masks we listed prevent these particulate matter in the form of dust or virus cells from entering your lungs. You need to protect yourself against a PM of 2.5 for the coronavirus.
List of the Best Masks for Protection Against Coronavirus in India
1. Pollution Safe Reusable PM 2.5, N95, 4 Layered Filtration Anti Pollution and Anti Dust Mask
This is our favourite mask because it covers everything and is available at a decent price. It claims to filter 95% of all particles up to 2.5 PM. It also has a valve which helps in easy breathing and controlling humidity.
The only con with this mask is that it might not last beyond a few months. It is the best-selling mask on Amazon and we personally prefer this.Check now
2. Atlanta Healthcare Cambridge N99
This N99 mask comes in three different models: no valve, 1 valve and 2 valve. You can buy any type, 2 valve model would be good for running. The mask claims to block 99% of pollution. The mask is reusable and can be used for months.
Users found the fitting of the mask a bit of a hit-and-miss. It comes in various sizes ranging from XS to XL to fit people of all ages including children.Check now
3. Prana Air PM2.5 Pollution Mask With 5 Layers HEPA Filter, 3 Fan Speeds & N95
This mask has a N95 filter. The biggest feature of this mask is that it has a fan built-in to keep proper air-flow. The mask claims to block 99.95% of particles in the air. You will need to recharge this mask and it will work for 5 hours.
A big complaint from users was observed that the mask stopped working in extreme humidity.Check now
4. Honeywell H801 N95 Particulate Respirator Mask
Honeywell is a very popular company and this mask will filter PM 2.5. It is N95 grade and are made from fabric. These are disposable and the price is high right now due to shortage of masks in India.Check now
5. Bodyguard Reusable Anti Pollution Face Mask with Activated Carbon, N99Check now
6. 3M 9332 N99 Pollution MaskCheck now
7. Dettol SiTi Shield Protect Plus Micro Fan for N95 Anti Pollution Smart Mask
Dettol’s mask has a fan, can filter PM of 2.5 and is N95 graded. It’s main feature is the capability of being attached to a fan. You have to purchase the mask separately and might cost around Rs. 3000.You have to charge the mask, it will last for about 300 charges.
The whole setup is quite expensive. This mask will work for months. You have to wipe with a wet cloth every now and then. Get this if the other options aren’t available from our list.Check now
8. Vogmask Black C2V Organic (Medium) Reusable Anti-Viral, Anti Pollution Mask With N95 Grade
This mask has a N95 grade with 95% filtration. It works for up to 2.5 particulate matter. It would work in theory to prevent any infection.
It comes in three sizes – small, medium and large. Large would be a fit for most adults and small would be for kids under 10 and medium for everyone in between.
The lifespan of the mask is 6 months and you can wash it. It also has a valve to facilitate easy breathing and moisture.Check now
9. Grin Health N-Series N99
The Grin N99 mask is made in a standard size to fit most people. It uses 5-micro layer filtration technology which helps in 99% protection for particulate matter up to 0.3.
The company claims to have a long shelf life of about 5 years. It’s got a decent design and looks good. Although, quite expensive it will last you longer than other masks.Check now
10. BodyGuard PM 2.5 Anti Dust and Pollution Face Mask
This N99 grade mask is perfect if you are looking for a disposable mask solution. Although quite expensive considering it is a one-time use, it is one of the best. It provides 99 percent filtration for up top particulate matter of 2.5.
It also has a valve for easy breathing and moisture control. You can use this mask for a full 20-24 hours. It is quite comfortable to use specially thanks to the nose clip which holds the mask very easily.Check now
Last update on 2020-10-24