Home LATEST NEWS HEALTH The N95 mask, a necessary tool to protect against the Omicron variant?

The N95 mask, a necessary tool to protect against the Omicron variant?

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Since the start of the pandemic, masks have been used to curb the transmission of the coronavirus. And unlike the possibilities offered in March 2020, there are no shortage of choices today: fabric masks, surgical, N95 …

One thing is certain, regardless of their type, they are essential, according to the immunologist at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute André Veillette. The virus is mainly transmitted by aerosols. It’s important to block them and that’s why masks are one of the most effective measures, he explains.

But, according to the researcher, the N95 masks stand out from the rest, because% of particles, unlike 50% filtration for surgical masks or blue masks and about 20% for fabric or cotton masks “,” text “:” they filter around 95% of the particles, unlike 50% filtration for surgical masks or blue masks and around 20% for fabric or cotton masks ” }} ‘>they filter about 95% of the particles, unlike 50% filtration for surgical masks or blue masks and about 20% for fabric or cotton masks. Faced with this reality and faced with a particularly transmissible Omicron variant, the immunologist considers that when a person is at risk of exposure, it is much better to have an N95, a much better mask than others.

Dr André Veillette also considers that all hospital staff, particularly at risk, should be equipped with this type of mask, because patients could be infected without knowing it. He believes that it would be necessary possibly make its use compulsory for nursing staff.

Immunologist André Veillette during a shoot.

Immunologist André Veillette believes that healthcare workers should wear an N95 mask at all times.

Photo: TurnedNews.com / Jean-Francois Michaud

Omicron is changing the game

The head of infection prevention and control at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Jérôme Leis, says the Omicron variant is a game-changer. We must protect ourselves as much as possible because we do not yet fully understand the transmission of the virus. It is certainly a virus that is more transmissible. In the hospital, it was used from time to time, but now it must be used routinely, he explains.

On December 15, Public Health Ontario issued interim guidelines for health care workers. Now, all staff who provide direct care to patients with COVID-19 or who interact with a suspected or potential case of the disease will need to prefer N95 masks over surgical masks. This is, according to public health, a precautionary principle.

N95 masks for the population?

But, when it comes to the use of N95s in the general population, Dr Jérôme Leis is more hesitant. Buying an N95 online is not necessarily the same thing. It does not necessarily meet the criteria used in the health care system. These are not necessarily masks that have been tested to ensure they fit properly. It’s not clear if using N95s in the community is necessarily a better option., he explains.

Dr André Veillette is not of the same opinion. Given that there are many cases that N95 masks are more available, more comfortable and less expensive than before, I think it is reasonable to educate the population and use the best masks available. available, he says.

The quality, the price, the availability are much better than before. I recommend that people wear N95 masks.

A quote from Dr André Veillette, immunologist at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute

Moreover, according to the Government of Canada site, respirators (like the N95) are designed to fit snugly against the face, which may promote a better fit than a medical mask or non-medical mask. The government adds, on its website, that a respirator worn in the community does not need a formal fit test and that in general medical masks and respirators provide better protection against COVID-19.

In a Twitter message dated December 15, the medical director of intensive care at Michael Garron Hospital, Dr. Michael Warner, said the general public should be encouraged to upgrade their masks to mitigate personal risk. .

To help people navigate their way, Toronto physician Dr. Naheed Dosani believes public health and governments should raise awareness and provide resources so they can understand how wear the appropriate masks, masks that will protect her from a virus that is clearly present in the air.

Protect your eyes

As the holidays approach, the infectious disease specialist at the Markham-Stouffville Hospital Valérie Sales believes that the most important thing is to wear a mask in a public space and that a surgical mask is sufficient and easier to wear. ‘access.

You need a quality mask. We can’t just put on the scarf that we put on to go outside. It needs to cover the nose and mouth. We see that there have been releases. People don’t necessarily always wear their masks, she judges.

In the general population, a properly fitted mask is most important. It’s really important to wear it, not to constantly handle it.

A quote from Dr. Valérie Sales, infectious disease specialist at the Markham-Stouffville Hospital

The doctor also advises to protect his eyes as much as possible, whether with a visor or protective glasses, especially in places where people may feel crowded.

A portrait of Dr. Valérie Sales.

Dr. Valérie Sales, infectious disease specialist at the Markham-Stouffville Hospital

Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Valérie Sales

One thing is certain. Experts agree that protection efforts are essential in the current situation.

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