SEOUL, May 27 (Korea Bizwire) — At a time when the new coronavirus epidemic is dragging on, it has been suggested that surgical masks, sometimes referred to as dental masks, are more suitable for maintaining public health than KF94 and N95 masks.
KF stands for “Korea Filter” and the number indicates the percentage of particles being blocked.
KF94 and KF99 masks can protect respiratory organs from infectious agents such as yellow dust and fine dust and the swine flu by blocking 94 percent and 99 percent of particles on average, respectively.
Kim Mi-na, a professor at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, recently penned an opinion column in the Journal of Korean Medical Science (JKMS) titled “The decision on what mask to wear as COVID-19 drags on is crucial.”
“KF94 or N95 masks have an excellent function of capturing nasal mucus, but they are not effective if the face and mask edges are not adhered to each other,” said the professor of laboratory medicine.
“They are not comfortable to wear for a long time.”
KF94 or N95 masks should be worn close to the face. In addition, masks are often worn in inappropriate ways, such as lowering the mask to cover only one’s mouth because it is uncomfortable to breath when the nose is also covered.
The medical community believes that wearing a mask in the wrong way is tantamount to not wearing one at all.
“KF94 or N95 masks make it difficult to breathe when worn for a long time, and the filter is vulnerable to moisture and should not be used for a long time,” Kim said. “It is difficult for people infected with the disease to even use them.”
To that end, Kim considered wearing a surgical mask such as a dental mask more appropriate than a KF94 or N95 mask.
Kim said, “Surgical masks have long been proven to have the effect of preventing the spread of droplet infection,” adding, “They are the most recommended types of public masks to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemics.”
“Cotton masks have a lower protection against droplet infection than surgical masks, so they should only be used when surgical masks are not available,” Kim added.
Health authorities say pregnant women, children, the elderly and respiratory patients should stop using masks immediately if they have difficulty breathing.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)