In this article we’re going to be talking about the testing for an Ebola protection mask. The health care workers who have to wear this, which is called an ‘Ebola respirator’ while working with a patient suffering from the deadly virus may be wearing a mask.
There are three different types of masks that health care workers will be wearing. These are the approved ZMapp masks; the air-purifying respirators (or ‘facemasks’), and the ‘neoprene’ masks. These three types of masks are used as a protective measure by health care workers to stop them getting sick from the virus that has been linked to the epidemic.
The masks worn by health care workers are made up of special material and the correct size to fit a person’s face. But these are not the same as the medical gloves that they are required to wear when they are treating a patient.
These are made out of materials that are completely different to those which are used in a doctor’s gown. This makes the masks more difficult to remove and will cause health care workers to sweat profusely in order to get them off of their face.
It can also be quite embarrassing for people to see someone’s face wet with sweat as they put on the masks so they will remove the face mask when they are dealing with the patient. But these masks are not a complete ‘do not touch’ solution either.
The actual material used in the masks means that if they are soaked up with bodily fluids it can spread the viruses through the skin, which is where the original mask is designed to prevent. This is why the respirators used to stop other parts of the body being infected will be worn over the face mask rather than taking off as soon as the mask is soaked with fluid.
Protective equipment like the KN95 masks for sale for the face must be as watertight as possible, meaning that the filter has to be totally isolated from the rest of the mask. Filters that do not have this isolation can allow liquids to drip into the other parts of the mask, which then becomes a potential breeding ground for the virus.
The filters on the respirators used by health care workers are meant to be strong enough to remove particles but not at the same time be effective enough to keep out harmful bacteria. Because of this, there is still a risk that the virus will be transferred from one patient to another through the contaminated filters.
Not all viruses carry the risk of spreading this potentially fatal and deadly disease though, and in fact many do not. The virus which causes the common cold, for example, does not have the ability to pass from person to person through bodily fluids and respiratory routes.
In addition, some infections can be spread by blowing into a person’s face or breathing passages. It is possible for this to happen during an outbreak of the virus, but in the vast majority of cases no one will get sick from this because the viruses can live on surfaces for hours or even days after the patient has cleared the room.
The only real risk that health care workers who need to wear masks will face is the risk of coming into contact with the virus that is already inside of the patient and is still infectious. A lot of things can contaminate a room, but no one can get sick just from breathing the air.
In the rare event that the virus were to mutate and become airborne, the effects of the virus would be similar to a common cold. The virus will clear up the air and provide a short respite for the patient, but the real problem will be clearing the other areas of the room.