After a lull of almost a year, the dreaded COVID-19 is witnessing an active spike in cases, this uptick has come around a time when we were already dealing with the H3N2 influenza infection. While we face this double risk of infection, experts warn that we need to continue to remain cautious and follow preventive measures consistently. In fact, the Indian Medical association has recently stated that the reason behind the COVID-19 surge may be the complacency around preventive hygiene protocols.
“With people now facing the risk from both COVID-19 as well as the influenza virus, we are seeing more people falling ill and many are dealing with prolonged symptoms and a serious impact on respiratory health. One must continue to follow all preventive measures of sanitization and wear masks in public areas or in a gathering to minimize risk of infection. One must self-isolate in case of sore throat, cold, fever and get tested for COVID”, says SC Ajmani, General Physician, New Delhi.
Masks provide the first line of defense for both COVID as well as flu viruses; the type of mask however makes a huge difference. N95 or FFP2 masks have been proven by multiple studies to be more effective than surgical or cloth masks. In fact, a study by Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization, Germany, found that fitting FFP2 and N95 masks provide a staggering 75 times better protection compared to surgical masks. 
More so, we expel thousands of droplets into the air, by even just speaking. This makes it all the more important to invest in a mask that gives you efficient protection, especially when we continue to go out and about with our daily routine. A respirator style mask is better equipped to contain the germs. A great option here is the Savlon FFP2 mask which is BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certified – each batch undergoes rigorous testing on quality performance and efficacy as prescribed by BIS. A BIS approved FFP2 S mask like Savlon provides protection from virus, bacteria, dust, pollution, allergens and pollen (>= 0.3 micron). These masks provide 95% protection from particle aerosols >= 0.3 micron. These masks have electrostatically charged melt blown filters which provide advanced filtration compared to ordinary masks. These masks are also tested for comfort and skin compatibility. By wearing a good quality, well fitted mask the effects of viruses, bacteria, dust, pollution, pollen and allergens can be greatly reduced and can contribute to overall better health.
Good quality FFP2 S masks help in protecting others around as well as the chances of spreading the infection reduce when masks are worn. Masks are first line of defense when visiting high germ load places like hospitals and wearing masks there can be a part of your best effort to stay protected. It is wise to include preventive measures such as mask usage and sanitization in your day to routine. Because hygiene sahi toh health sahi!
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