Although the aCovid-19 virus is hosted by bats, some particular subtype might affect other mammals too, including humans. In a direct manner the virus is contacted from infected birds, mostly domestic poultry but sometimes wild birds also can infect hunters, tribal people, etc. Within an indirect manner the infection can enter the human system via food items infected with the virus, polluted water, objects, air, food, etc. by the bodily secretions or excretions of infected birds. The flu virus being airborne, the contamination within the air might be reasonably high, in cases of epidemic or pandemic proportions. Infected people carry the flu virus with them wherever they travel and spread it in air and on objects they touch via their nasal secretions and bodily discharges.
Personal Protective Equipment or PPE because they are called are equipments designed for health professionals to utilize should they be employed in contaminated environments. Nose and mouth respirators or ‘Masks’ are the types most widely used. Bird flu masks are extremely specific regarding the fact that the bird flu virus is microscopic and is not easily filtered out from the environment using conventional filters.
These masks are designed on the guidelines provided by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to filtering efficiency, filters utilized in the Facial Mask fall under 3 categories, namely Type 95, Type 99 and kind 100. The proportions of microscopic (.3 micron wide) particles filtered out by these filters are 95%, 99% and 99.7%, respectively. Also the filters are categorized according to filter efficiency degradation and are hence defined as, N (non-immune to oil), R (oil resistant) and P (oil proof). Every individual mask is tested in laboratory settings before being approved for sale. But N95 ones are disposable and cannot be cleaned.
The most common ones are N-95 filtering respirators that have been approved by NIOSH (also known as as Filtering Facepieces) to be effective drastically cutting down exposure risks to airborne viruses like SARS or Avian Influenza. The usage of masks is suggested to individuals employed in high contamination situations, like healthcare workers attending to patients, or field workers involved in destroying the problem sources, etc.
Another set of extremely effective, protective masks are Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). They may be more effective than N-95 masks in offering better protection. These are generally employed by persons who cannot wear N-95 masks, like people with facial hair. This battery operated mask includes a face piece with breathing tube and filters.
Even though any mask is not an assurance against influenza infection, they dramatically cut down the likelihood of infection from airborne viruses. It remains to get said however, the capabilities of the masks degrade over time quprnl usage. Aerosols, if contained in the working environments, degrade filters even more. Hence, Facial Mask should not be combined with 100% reliance, only as one of the preventive tool. Much more, there are guidelines that ought to be adhered to while (re)using such PPE. It is hence clear that the best defense will not lie in any level of measures taken but alternatively within the knowledge that they may be implemented.