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AL Department of Public Health doctor discusses different face masks

Landers stressed you should not rush to buy N95 masks right now because it’s more important for doctors, nurses and emergency workers to have them.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 6:43 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2020 7:30 PM

WAAY 31 worked to learn more about all of these different masks and what you need to know if you're looking to buy one.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said masks need to be reserved for health care workers, first responders, and patients who need one.

Many people who don't work in healthcare and have heard about N95 and surgical masks here's a breakdown of the difference between the two.

The N95 mask are designed to filter out particles. Prior to coronavirus, Landers said she used the mask to treat patients with tuberculosis.

She said it has a different material and a tighter fit than a surgical mask and must be fitted properly on a health care worker to be effective.

Landers also said it works to prevent respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze from going through a mask and into someone else's nose or mouth.

WAAY 31 gotten a lot of questions about KN95 masks and what’s different about them.

Landers said the difference in the name is basically where they’re made. N95 is from China.

Now, a surgical mask which is what people are more familiar with seeing. Landers said is what patients should use. Those masks prevent droplets from being dispersed if you were to cough or sneeze.

"N95 is not a comfortable mask to wear for people that are not involved in health care that have not been properly fitted for that mask. A surgical mask is more appropriate for reduction in transmission of droplets from the actual patient," Landers said.

WAAY 31 asked her what kind of mask people who don't work in health care should since the CDC recommend Americans cover faces when outside, President Donald Trump calls it ''voluntary."

"Should this come about, I do expect that the information that's being provided related to the use of cotton masks, again, sewn masks will be one of the items that is considered for the general public should this come about," Landers said.

Landers stressed you should not rush to buy N95 masks right now because it’s more important for doctors, nurses and emergency workers to have them.

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