Do surgical face masks offer any real protection from swine flu? Many people around the world are looking for anything that can protect them from this new virus identified as H1N1.
H1N1 was first noticed in late April of this year, at the end of what would normally be the flu season. Mexico began noticing a large number of hospitalizations with flu like illnesses. Because of the number and the lateness of the year for these types of symptoms, Mexican health professionals began testing patients and identified a new strain of swine flu called H1N1. The majority of these cases were reported in the area of Mexico City. Cases then began showing up in the United States and Canada from citizens who had returned from business or vacations in different regions of Mexico.
To try to prevent the spread of this new virus, Mexican officials closed all schools, all non-essential government offices, and cancelled all large indoor or outdoor gatherings for a period of two weeks. During this period, health officials also requested that everyone wear surgical masks while out in public. But unfortunately, surgical masks do not offer any good protection from flu viruses as they are normally meant to stop the spread of bacteria infections and these masks are also produced for only a one time session use.
H1N1 is spread from person to person mainly thru sneezing and coughing by those who are sick or infected by the virus. People can also be infected by touching an object such as a door knob or computer keyboard or mouse which has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
The best ways to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu virus are to frequently wash hands, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue and dispose of the tissue after use. If you share a work space with anyone, be sure to wipe your desk and computer down with a sanitizing wipe or other sanitizing product at the end of the day. If you have flu like symptoms, stay home and contact your family physician especially if you have recently traveled to Mexico. If your child is sick, don’t send them to school or daycare.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the total number of laboratory confirmed cases worldwide as of May 10th is currently 4379 in 29 countries and that this flu has a long incubation period of a week to 10 days before symptoms begin. This means that the virus can be spread by people who don’t even realize that they are sick or infected
In Mexico it seems that this flu might have reached its peak. As of May 10th, they have currently 1626 laboratory confirmed cases of H1N1 flu with 45 deaths. In the United States, the number of laboratory confirmed cases is 2294 in 41 states with 2 deaths reported in the state of Texas.
Swedish invention can reduce the spread of swine influenza (H1N1)
SmittsStopp can be used on all touch surfaces in hospitals, clinics, public spaces, restaurants, schools, kindergartens, shops, taxis, buses and of course at home. Examples of such surfaces are the taps, handles, switches, and similar surfaces where infection spreads easily. It can be used to wipe off the cell phones, computer key boards and mice.
SmittStopp is based on a unique new Swedish invention, cationic polymer, which is positively charged and attaches to all surfaces. Bacteria, virus, staphylococci, and all microorganisms are negatively charged. These are attracted to the positive charge in the polymer where they can not grow and die. For further information go to smittstopp.com.