To fight against the Omicron variant, wearing a mask, or even a double mask, is a wise attitude
The best protection against this “Omicron” tsunami? Many specialists recommend wearing an FFP2 mask. A recent study has indeed shown that with a duckbill, the risk of being infected by a contaminated person is only 0.4%. The reason, a more filtering fabric, while its particular shape allows less air to pass.
“The FFP2 mask is occlusive all along the skin, there are no gaps,” explains in the video of TF1’s 20H at the top of this article Professor Bruno Megarbane, head of the medical and toxicological resuscitation department at Lariboisière Hospital in Paris. “We can therefore recommend it compared to the surgical mask, first for people at high risk of developing a severe form of the disease, for example for those who have not been vaccinated, but also for the elderly, more fragile, “he continues.
Another alternative is the wearing of two masks, which would offer enhanced protection against the airborne spread of the coronavirus.
During the winter of 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had conducted laboratory simulations of leakage reduction with a cloth mask layered on top of a surgical mask, and then with a surgical mask with the elastics attached near the inwardly folded edges.
The result was that the unattached surgical mask and the cloth mask blocked only 42% and 44.3% of the aerosols dispersed by a cough, respectively, whereas the combination of the two provided 92.5% protection. In another experiment, exposure to an unmasked infected person was reduced by 83% with a double mask and by 64.5% with a mask strapped to the face or made of plastic, or a nylon neck cover worn over a surgical mask.
The epidemiologist Philippe Amouyel, a recognized epidemiologist, interviewed this Monday by LCI, the use of a cloth mask to good plaster the surgical mask is rather judicious, “especially at this time facing the Omicron variant, much more contagious”, because the surgical mask “has four points of entry and therefore lets the air escape on the sides”. “If you have to fog on your glasses, that’s a good indication that it’s not very airtight. So, if you have a small face, you have to know how to put it on, turn the elastics so that it sticks well, which is not always obvious,” he explains. The objective of this second fabric mask is not to filter twice as much, but to make the surgical mask watertight.
Thus, according to Philippe Amouyel, wearing a double mask is a good option, especially for people who would have difficulties in obtaining an FFP2 mask, whose main characteristic is to be more waterproof. In the United States, the country with the most deaths in the world from Covid-19, this practice is already common.