Respirator Use in Community where SWINE FLU
CDC is calling N95 close fitting masks "RESPIRATORS"
and those loose fitting, flat, usually folded pleat,
surgical, or other material "MASKS".
[This is what I purchased on eBay: GERSON 2130 N95
RESPIRATOR BOX OF 20 MASK NEW Item number: 180235452261
These are also good:
3M 8200 N95 RESPIRATOR - 1 BOX 20 MASK 3M8200 Item
number: 200316363066] Miles
They seem to be advising DON'T rely on any mask or
respirator and KEEP at least 6 foot away if you MUST
risk exposure, and LIMIT YOUR TIME, EVEN WITH MASK OR
RESPIRATOR that you are in infected area. Basically, I
translate this official advice to; avoid groups and
Stay out of stranger contact even if you wear a
respirator or mask.
If there is ANY CHANCE you WILL come near an infected
person WEAR A RESPIRATOR, NOT A FACEMASK!!
Interim Recommendations for Facemask
and Respirator Use in Certain Community Settings Where
Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Transmission Has Been
April 26, 2009 01:00 ET
This document provides interim guidance and will be
updated as needed.
Detailed background information and recommendations
regarding the use of masks and respirators in
non-occupational community settings can be found on
PandemicFlu. gov in the document Interim Public Health
Guidance for the Use of Facemasks and Respirators in
Non-Occupational Community Settings during an Influenza
PandemicExternal Web Site Policy..
Information on the effectiveness of facemasks1 and
respirators2 for the control of influenza in community
settings is extremely limited. Thus, it is difficult to
assess their potential effectiveness in controlling
swine influenza A (H1N1) virus transmission in these
settings. In the absence of clear scientific data, the
interim recommendations below have been developed on
the basis of public health judgment and the historical
use of facemasks and respirators in other settings.
In areas with confirmed human cases of swine influenza
A (H1N1) virus infection, the risk for infection can be
reduced through a combination of simple actions. No
single action will provide complete protection, but an
approach combining the following steps can help
decrease the likelihood of transmission. These actions
include frequent handwashing, covering coughs, and
having ill persons stay home, except to seek medical
care, and minimize contact with others in the
household. Additional measures that can limit
transmission of a new influenza strain include
voluntary home quarantine of members of households with
confirmed or probable swine influenza cases, reduction
of unnecessary social contacts, and avoidance whenever
possible of crowded settings.
When it is absolutely necessary to enter a crowded
setting or to have close contact3 with persons who
might be ill, the time spent in that setting should be
as short as possible. If used correctly, facemasks and
respirators can help prevent some exposures, but they
should be used along with other preventive measures,
such as avoiding close contact and maintaining good
hand hygiene. When crowded settings or close contact
with others cannot be avoided, the use of facemasks1 or
respirators2 in areas where transmission of swine
influenza A (H1N1) virus has been confirmed should be
considered as follows:
1. Whenever possible, rather than relying on the use of
facemasks or respirators, close contact with people who
might be ill and being in crowded settings should be
2. Facemasks1 should be considered for use by
individuals who enter crowded settings, both to protect
their nose and mouth from other people's coughs and to
reduce the wearers' likelihood of coughing on others;
the time spent in crowded settings should be as short
3. Respirators2 should be considered for use by
individuals for whom close contact with an infectious
person is unavoidable. This can include selected
individuals who must care for a sick person (e. g.,
family member with a respiratory infection) at
These interim recommendations will be revised as new
information about the use of facemasks and respirators
in the current setting becomes available.
For more information about human infection with swine
influenza virus, visit the CDC Swine Flu website.
1 Unless otherwise specified, the term "facemasks"
refers to disposable masks cleared by the U. S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as medical
devices. This includes facemasks labeled as surgical,
dental, medical procedure, isolation, or laser masks.
Such facemasks have several designs. One type is
affixed to the head with two ties, conforms to the face
with the aid of a flexible adjustment for the nose
bridge, and may be flat/pleated or duck-billed in
shape. Another type of facemask is pre-molded, adheres
to the head with a single elastic band, and has a
flexible adjustment for the nose bridge. A third type
is flat/pleated and affixes to the head with ear loops.
Facemasks cleared by the FDA for use as medical devices
have been determined to have specific levels of
protection from penetration of blood and body
2 Unless otherwise specified, "respirator" refers to an
N95 or higher filtering facepiece respirator certified
by the U. S. National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH).
3 Three feet has often been used by infection control
professionals to define close contact and is based on
studies of respiratory infections; however, for
practical purposes, this distance may range up to 6
feet. The World Health Organization uses "approximately
1 meter"; the U. S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration uses "within 6 feet." For consistency
with these estimates, this document defines close
contact as a distance of up to 6 feet.