How can you help to fight against the particularly infectious Omicron variant? Wearing a mask has now become commonplace, and was even recently made compulsory in most public places. Does this mean we should away our cloth masks, which aren't considered very good? Not necessarily, according to the prestigious US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Cloth masks could have a new purpose
At the very beginning of the health crisis, surgical masks were still rarely found in shops. Naturally, cloth masks became a very useful alternative, being washable and inexpensive. But they are no longer popular with health authorities. In early 2021, many public officials already recommended ditching them in favour of surgical or FFP2 masks.
But according to the CDC, cloth masks could once again be used, to fight the Omicron variant. As we know, this variant is much more contagious than all previous ones, and a simple trick could prove tremendously useful against it: double masking.
The CDC has carried out several laboratory experiments to see to what extent untied surgical masks and cloth masks limit the spread of droplets and aerosol viruses. Their results? These two types of masks would each offer protection of about 43%. However, when the cloth mask is worn on top of the other mask, this protection is said to rise to 92.5 %!
Is double-masking an effective protection trick?
This little trick might give you a bit of a special look, but it could prove to be very useful.
The aim of this second fabric mask is not to filter twice as much, but to seal the surgical mask.
Another technique, the effectiveness of which has not been proven at all: the use of FFP2 type masks. According to the INRS, they filter out at least 94% of particles, and their protection is such that their use could soon be mandatory. In some places, they are already compulsory in several European countries such as Austria, Spain, Italy and Germany...