One of the most effective methods in averting COVID

With the current impact that COVID-19 is having in the world today, everyone is searching for ways to protect themselves. COVID-19 is one of the many diseases that is caused by a family of viruses called Coronaviruses. It can appear as a very mild disease in some individuals while extremely severe in others. In rare cases, the disease can even lead to organ failure and death.

On top of the potential of being extremely debilitating, the disease is also highly contagious. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a single individual who contracts COVID-19 will infect roughly 2 to 2.5 other individuals. This makes it evident just how important personal protective equipment (PPE) is in the prevention of contracting the disease, specifically N95 respirators.

The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators currently on the market. This specific piece of PPE filters out at least 95% of airborne particles potentially inhaled by an individual. Its use is one of the most effective methods in today’s world in averting the virus that causes COVID-19, which is the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But due to the increasing demand of this product, supplies have been limited. So, who should receive priority in obtaining N95 respirators, and why?

The purpose of this article is to inform on why N95 respirators should be reserved for health workers and any individuals on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 disease.

This specific piece of PPE filters out at least 95% of airborne particles potentially inhaled by an individual.

N95 respirators should be reserved for whom?

The N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to accomplish a tight facial fit and extremely efficient filtration rate of airborne particles. The edges of the face mask are intended to form a tight seal around the nose and mouth of the user in order to provide maximum protection of airborne particles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), general public wear of N95 respirators for the purpose in protecting themselves from respiratory diseases (including COVID-19) is not recommended.

The CDC recommends that the general public utilize cloth face coverings in order to help slow the spread of the virus and protect oneself. Although potentially not as effective, cloth face coverings and face masks do help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and offer an adequate amount of protection from contracting the virus in the community setting.

The general public is recommended to use this particular method of PPE because N95 respirators should be reserved for health care providers and other individuals in the health field for a variety of reasons. This raises the question, why should health care workers get priority over the general public?

N95 respirators should be reserved for health care providers and other individuals in the health field for a variety of reasons. This raises the question, why should health care workers get priority over the general public?

N95 respirator use in health care environments

PPE is extremely important for individuals working in the health care setting, especially N95 respirators. Of course, people in the community and the general public are at risk of contracting COVID-19, but health care workers are at an increased risk. This is the setting where confirmed cases of COVID-19 patients and carriers of the disease are most concentrated, putting everyone in the vicinity at risk of contracting the virus.

Health care workers are considered the front-line in battling the current pandemic because they are constantly within direct contact of infected individuals. They are actively exposing themselves to COVID-19 by caring for those infected with the disease. This makes it crucial for these individuals to have the most effective PPE that’s available, including N95 respirators.

However, due to the abrupt demand and use of N95 respirators by the general public, health care workers are becoming vulnerable to contracting the virus due to lack of supplies. They are also becoming at increased vulnerability of contracting other diseases too. The escalation of COVID-19 did not diminish the presence of other prevalent diseases floating around the nation.

Due to the abrupt demand and use of N95 respirators by the general public, health care workers are becoming vulnerable to contracting the virus due to lack of supplies.

The impact of COVID-19 has made many people forget about other vicious diseases that are still occurring throughout the world. Infections such as tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia, chickenpox, pertussis, and other transmissible airborne diseases are still active in the world today. And where do individuals with these conditions seek to get treatment? Heath care facilities.

Not only are health workers at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, they are at amplified risk of contracting other airborne infectious diseases that are potentially just as severe as the well-known SARS-CoV-2 virus. This makes it evident on why workers in the health field need the most effective methods of PPE possible.

For these reasons, it is vital that health workers have accessibility to N95 respirators at all times and justifies why this particular type of PPE should be reserved for this specific practice setting.