Are you doing your best to stay protected from common flu?

New Delhi, Feb 1: With every other person in the city complaining of flu and cold, masking up may be the best thing you can do not just for yourself but others around you. By continuing the usage of masks if you feel any flu like symptoms, you are looking out for other people in your home and in your immediate surroundings by limiting the spread of the infection. You can actually reduce the chance of infection by wearing a mask.

Many infections, including influenza, SARS, and Covid-19 are transmitted via respiratory droplets which are exhaled from the infected individual. There are different viruses that cause these infections and they tend to spread when an infected person breathes, speaks or coughs. When we wear a good quality mask without a valve, we are considerably reducing the likelihood of passing on that infection to others. This will be all the more important if you have babies in the house who can’t wear masks or elderly who are vulnerable or have co-morbidities says Dr SC Ajmani, General Physician.

In fact, research says that a single cough can produce up to 3000 droplets. More so, we expel thousands of droplets into the air, by even just speaking. Wearing a mask means that you are aiding infection control by blocking the source of infection, as the mask contains the wearer’s germs and stops the route of transmission for airborne infections. It particularly benefits in not infecting people who are more vulnerable like elderly, little children and those with a weakened immune system.

Also, whenever we visit high germ load places like hospitals or a clinic or a testing lab – masking up should be adopted as a good practice because we are going to a place which has high incidence of infection. It can be a part of our best effort to stay protected and a rather easy addition to our routine.

The kind of mask one is wearing plays a huge role in how effective they really are in limiting the spread of infection. Choosing a respirator (an N-95 or an FFP2 S) over a cloth or a surgical mask should be preferred as they are better equipped to contain germs as well as prevent their entry through it. A study by the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization, Germany, found that a fitting FFP2 and N95 masks provide a staggering 75 times better protection compared to surgical masks. A BIS approved FFP2 S mask like Savlon provides protection from virus, bacteria, dust, pollution, allergens and pollen (>= 0.3 micron). These masks provide 95 per cent protection from particle aerosols >= 0.3 micron. These masks have electrostatically charged melt blown filters which provide advanced filtration compared to ordinary masks. These masks are also tested for comfort and skin compatibility. Savlon FFP2 S Masks are BIS Certified. Each batch undergoes rigorous testing on quality performance and efficacy as prescribed by BIS. By wearing a good quality, well fitted mask the effects of viruses, bacteria, dust, pollution, pollen and allergens can be greatly reduced and can contribute to overall better health.

Making up must become a conscious choice for safeguarding ones and other’s health. Even if you have the slightest cough, sore throat or congestion or are visiting a hospital or a clinic – wearing a mask should be a natural instinct. Additionally, of course, it must always be accompanied by other hygiene practices such as washing hands, keeping your clothes disinfected, especially during winters, and maintaining hygiene in the home, because after all, Hygiene Sahi toh Health Sahi.