You may have heard that sanitizer being capable of killing Coronavirus. Did you imagine there could be an antiviral face mask as well that can kill the virus?
This is the time when the whole world is waiting for the Coronavirus vaccine to come into public circulation. The doctors have advised everyone to stay at home unless going out is necessary. When needed to go outside, going with a face mask will reduce the possibility of contracting the virus.
There were no antiviral masks that could not only reduce the possibility of contracting the virus but also kill the virus. As per an article written in the Times of India, we are at least six months away from getting the first Coronavirus vaccine.
Till yesterday, all we could do to avoid the SARS-CoV-2 virus included wearing a face mask, following social distancing norms, and sanitizing properly.
But now, we are a step forward in this battle against Coronavirus. This is possible by the development of the antiviral face mask named G FAB.
G FAB is an antiviral mask developed by Indian scientists from the Institute of stem cell science and regenerative medicine, Bengaluru.
The researchers claim that they have made this face mask with a special germicidal fabric. It’s a fabric capable of killing COVID-19 within a span of 3 minutes. The type of germicidal fabric that is used in this antiviral face mask is capable of deactivating the enveloped viruses and bacteria. Coronavirus also belongs to this category of viruses.
The G FAB antiviral face mask consists of three layers. Among these, the outer two layers consist of germicidal fabric while the inner layer is made of cotton. This makes the mask washable as well as reusable. The antiviral mask also provides you with an optional place for inserting air filters considering the usage of masks in crowded places with improper ventilation.
As per the reports of Federal, a digital news site, the scientists of Bengaluru have also discovered a unique molecule recently. This molecule has the capability of deactivating the virus and bacteria when in contact. They have placed this unique molecule in the cotton layer of the G FAB antiviral face mask.
Is the mask safe and efficient?
The scientists of Bengaluru have claimed that this antiviral mask is capable of eradicating a wide variety of viruses and bacteria. However, independent studies on the mask to confirm the claims are yet to be done. Regarding safety, being an antiviral face mask, it will remain our primary armor in the battle against Coronavirus. But its efficiency will be determined by whether it’s a coronavirus killer or not.
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There are other masks besides antiviral face masks that people wear. These marks obviously don’t kill the virus completely but, they will help in the protection against the virus.
Some of the most common masks people wear to protect themselves against COVID-19 are surgical masks. These are single-use and disposable rectangular-shaped masks. Surgical masks are made of synthetic breathable fibers. There are pleats that expand covering the nose, mouth, and jawline as well.
The efficiency of surgical masks varies from 10 to 90 % in filtering pathogens.
Other masks that are popular especially in South Asian countries are cloth masks. These are indeed the least effective masks as there are gaps in these masks near the nose, jaw as well as cheek region. Tiny droplets may enter through these small holes.
Despite being less effective in filtering most of the pathogens, it’s still better than not wearing a mask at all. Wearing a well-constructed cloth mask properly may help protect you from the Coronavirus.
The most effective face masks at filtering pathogens are respirators. These are fit, sealed, and tested masks made of tangled fibers. Respirators are designed as such that they meet the filtration standards of the National Institute for Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH).
As per the scientists, the diameter of Coronavirus is about 125nm. Based on this fact, we can conclude the efficiency of the respirators as follows:
Certified N95 respirators – These respirators are capable of filtering almost 95% of the particles ranging between 100 to 300 nm in size.
N99 respirators – These respirators can filter almost 99% of the particles ranging between the above-mentioned size. AusAir masks are good examples, though they are more sustainable due to their self-cleaning and block-out technology.
N100 respirators – These respirators have the ability to filter almost 99.7% of the particles of size ranging in the above manner.
Our Frontline heroes need to use respirators in their job. The masks are checked for their respiratory size and air leakage problems before being used by frontline healthcare and workers. These checks are important to ensure no harmful particles leak through.
There are medical device experts as well as physicians all over the world concerned with antiviral face masks. According to Thomas Russo, Buffalo’s Jacobs School Of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, antiviral face masks can be a major assistance to health workers as it will completely reduce the chances of infection among the frontline health workers.
There are instances when the workers may end up contaminating their hands with the virus if the mask is not taken off properly.
Moreover, hospitals have decided to disinfect the N95 masks and reuse them. However, this may end up creating a money shortage. An antiviral mask can act as the best alternative here. It can be reused while eradicating the virus within the germicidal fabrics.
While we don’t see any Coronavirus vaccine coming sooner than six months at least, antiviral face masks can play a positive role in the battle against coronavirus. Other masks like surgical, cloth, and respirators may filter and restrict the entry of pathogens. While the antiviral masks can even kill the virus within its fabric. It can also serve better for frontline healthcare workers.