LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Floating Doctors, an international medical relief group, today shared a list of top tips for the public to adhere to when using face masks during the pandemic. As face mask directives continue to emerge across the United States, leading physician and founder of Floating Doctors, Dr. Ben LaBrot has one simple message,
"Put a mask on to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19, and don't forget to cover your eyes, too."
Below is a list of top recommendations from Dr. LaBrot on mask usage during the pandemic:
- Do not get cocky - Even an N95 mask only stops 95% of particles, and droplets can still enter your eyes. No mask is as good as literally staying just out of the virus' reach!
- Masks do not typically cover your eyes! Consider wearing additional eye protection (i.e. a face shield, veil, or netting) if you need to be in public to protect yourself from touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face. Check out our "Don't Touch Your Face" campaign to learn more.
- A mask is not just to protect you - it is to participate in the collective shield created against COVID-19 by everyone wearing their masks (and washing their hands).
- A mask does not protect you from respiratory droplets going into your eyes.
- Do not use alcohol and chlorine or bleach-based disinfection methods on masks. These destroy the static charge in the microfibers in N95 facial masks. Warm water and soap are still better than 60%+ alcohol.
- When using a homemade mask, use tightly woven fabrics with a 180 thread count or more. Use a 'Light Test' if you are unsure of the thread count. If you hold the mask up to the sun or a lamp and see lots of light penetrate, it is more likely to let in/out virus particles.
- Wash your masks frequently and don't handle the front of the mask when you take it off (and wash your hands afterwards).
- If a mask gets hard to breathe through, it's time to discard.
"Any mask is better than no mask, not just to protect you but to protect others since the majority of infections come from people who do not yet exhibit any symptoms," said Dr. LaBrot. "A mask prevents you from touching your mouth or nose, it prevents you from breathing in droplets from infected people's respirations or coughs, it protects you against airborne pathogens, and perhaps most of all in ending this pandemic sooner, it protects other people from you!"
The Floating Doctors Mission is to reduce the present and future burden of disease in the developing world, and to promote improvements in health care delivery worldwide. Their goals are to provide free acute and preventative health care services, facilitate community development and capacity initiatives, reduce child and maternal mortality, gather clinical data for program and health landscape surveillance, improve access to specialist medical care in developing regions, and promote improvements in health care practice worldwide
Dr. Benjamin LaBrot is the founder and CEO of Floating Doctors and a professor in the Keck School of Medicine Dept. of Global Medicine at U.S.C.
SOURCE Floating Doctors