What are the CDC’s recommendations for the use of surgical masks?

CDC

CDC stands for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a federal agency in the United States whose primary objective is to protect the health of the public through the prevention of disease and illness. The main focus of CDC is on environmental health, infectious diseases, and injury prevention, etc. The headquarters of CDC is located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is under the Department of Health and Human Services.

Surgical masks

A respiratory protection device whose primary objective is to guard the wearer against injurious airborne particles is called a surgical mask. Surgical masks have become an essential PPE for people after the N95 respirator. Although N95 respirators are better than surgical masks in terms of efficiency and filtration, they can combat the severity of the novel coronavirus. Surgical masks are also known as face masks.

Use of surgical masks

Healthcare professionals like nurses, physicians, and doctors use surgical masks while carrying out healthcare procedures such as treating infected patients. After carrying out the medical procedure, healthcare providers dispose of the surgical mask; this is because the effectiveness of surgical masks deteriorates after use. You could decontaminate the surgical mask if you want to, but it will not be as effective as a new surgical mask.

There are several other uses of surgical masks. Mining and construction sites are some places where surgical masks can be used. They protect the miners and construction workers from dust, dirt, bacteria, and germs by filtering them out; this is what guards the miners and construction workers while they work. People — who work at factories — wear face masks that act as a barrier at the filtration of injurious aerosols and particulate matter.

Significance of surgical masks

It has become pivotal for an individual to wear surgical masks in 2020. After COVID-19 spread across different countries, surgical masks became an indispensable PPE — Personal Protective Equipment. The surgical masks act as a shield in guarding the wearer against infectious diseases and injurious airborne particles. In addition to that, these face masks filter out airborne particles that could affect the health of a person adversely. 

The good thing about face masks is that they can protect the people who are standing near the wearer as well. If the wearer is infected, those germs will not reach the people standing close to him. Therefore, the usage of face masks without exhalation valves is indispensable. It acts as a shield to protect the wearer as well as the people around the wearer. In addition to that, face masks protect the user as well.

COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness that broke out in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. The virus gained attention after it started spreading in various countries in the world. It is a contagious disease, which means it spreads when an infected individual comes in contact with another individual. The United States is among those countries where COVID-19 has spread a lot. It is an irrefutable fact that coronavirus has changed the way we live our lives. Although the mortality rate of this virus is low, there is a myriad of young individuals who have died after contracting the disease.

CDC’s recommendations for the use of surgical masks

The CDC has got a myriad of recommendations regarding the use of surgical masks. Employers at a healthcare facility must determine whether it is safe to use surgical masks there or not. If hazardous chemicals are present at a healthcare facility, there is no use of surgical masks. Surgical masks do not protect the wearer from treacherous chemicals. All the employees have to do is determine whether surgical masks are necessary for your place or not.

If they are necessary for your place, it has been recommended to use surgical masks there. If there are hazards present at the place, the employees have to determine whether this respiratory protection device is efficient for that place or not. After determining that, the employees have to select PPE with a tight facial fit for themselves; this is because such respirators are effective against particulate matter and aerosols. 

Another reason for this recommendation is to guard the employees against infectious diseases and hazards that could cause several health diseases to them. Hence, it is pivotal for them to use respirators with a tight facial fit. Healthcare facilities must determine whether a healthcare provider can wear a face mask — N95 respirators, surgical masks, and cloth masks — or not. Some people do not know how to wear a face mask. 

Therefore, they must know how to wear one. After that, a test must be conducted to determine whether the respirator has a good fit for the face of the healthcare professional or not. Once this has been determined, the healthcare employees can use the surgical mask. Children — whose age is more than two — can wear the medical face mask without any hesitation. Following are some ways to use a face mask:

The wearer must correctly wear an N95 respirator. The wearer must not frequently touch their face masks as one might end up infecting their hand from germs and bacteria. Remove the face mask after using it. After gently removing it, wash and cleanse your hands thoroughly. Consider as if your hand is full of germs and bacteria, and wash your hands after removing the face mask. 

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