Protection against SARS

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by ThomasC, May 3, 2003.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    I have relatives living in Taiwan, and we're trying to find masks for them to use, since Taiwan and all the other countries affected by SARS are fresh out of them. The WHO and CDC have recommended the N95 mask and better, but while searching online for places that still have this mask in stock (yeah, I know, almost no hope, but what the hey...), I came across this post at a medical supply forum:

     
  2. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    Hm..I'm curious about this as well since I'm currently working in Taiwan. I'm not sure if what he lists is an actual model #, or a standard of filtration. The couple of sites I found it on were in the UK, and it seems like that mask is quite expensive, ~28 pounds or so. The guy's post seems heavily laced with rhetoric, so it's hard to tell whether he's trying to push his own agenda or has a legitimate beef. I'm sure the mask he lists is better than the N95 (or at least the cost difference would definitely seem to indicate that), but as to whether it is necessary or overkill is another question altogether.
     
  3. Devin U

    Devin U Second Unit

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    any mask that could do that would have to be custom fitted and made, costing thousands of dollars. N95 masks are fine. the only people who would have anykind of problems with a N95 are guys with beards. It cant fit right with the hair in the way. After putting a N95 on, just have your family breath a few breaths. If the mask moves (rises and falls) with their breathing, then you have a good fit which should protect you. As well, people with round faces should probably use the 3M preformed masks, as they seal better.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    For what it's worth:

    There has never been any conclusive data to suggest that N95 masks are any better than standard (not specifically fitted) surgical masks at protecting from droplet-based or particulate-based infection (the data I'm aware of are related to tuberculosis). Of course, we are using the N95 in our practice and will continue to do so, but if the shortage deepens (we have our current supply and little possibility of getting a new supply) we will switch to the basic masks.
     

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