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Face masks are a type of personal protective equipment used
to prevent the spread of respiratory infections. These masks cover the mouth
and nose of the wearer and, if worn properly, may be effective at helping
prevent transmission of respiratory viruses and bacteria.
There are 2 main types of masks used to prevent respiratory
infection: surgical masks, sometimes referred to as face masks, and
respirators. These masks differ by the type and size of infectious particles
they are able to filter. Face masks are used more commonly for respiratory
viruses that spread via droplets, which travel short distances and are
transmitted by cough or sneeze
When Should a Mask Be Used?
Face masks should be used only by individuals who have symptoms
of respiratory infection such as coughing, sneezing, or, in some cases, fever.
Face masks should also be worn by health care workers, by individuals who are taking care of or are in close contact with people who have respiratory infections.
Face masks should be reserved for those who need them because masks can be in short supply during periods of widespread respiratory infection.
How to Wear a Mask
If wearing a face mask is required, it is important to wash your
hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to putting on the face
mask. An alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can also be
used if soap and water are unavailable.
After cleaning your hands, place the face mask over your nose
and mouth. Make sure there are no gaps between the face mask and your face, and
ensure a tight seal. Try to avoid touching the face mask when wearing it. If
you do touch the face mask, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer again. When
you are done using the face mask, remove it without touching the front of the
face mask, and discard it into a closed bin. Wash your hands again after
discarding the face mask.
(excerpt from Qld Health website)
There are 5 ways we can all help stop the spread of viruses
Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth. And avoid shaking hands.
Stay home if you are unwell.
Practice social distancing, which includes staying 1.5m away from others as much as you can.