As the world faces the rapid spread of the coronavirus, many have been forwarding messages on how to prevent contracting this possibly fatal virus.
Face mask provides a physical barrier to fluids and large-particle droplets (a major means by which the virus is spread). A surgical mask is a type of face mask commonly used. When used properly, surgical masks can prevent infections transmitted by respiratory droplets.
The outer layer is hydrophobic or is a fluid-repelling layer while the inner layer is to absorb moisture, as the air we breathe out contains moisture.
There is also typically a middle layer that filters bacteria.
The function of the blue/green layer is to prevent germs from sticking to it. If you wear the mask the other way, the moisture from the air will stick onto it, making it easier for germs to stay there.
When you breathe in, the germs will transfer from the outside layer and straight into your lungs.
What this means in simple terms is that you should wear the coloured side out if you’re sick and do not want to spread the germs around. The white side is worn out when you are not sick and you want to stop the germs from getting in.
The strings or elastic bands are positioned properly to keep the mask firmly in place. You must, however, ensure that the mask fully covers both the mouth and nose and is for single use only.
Try not to touch the mask once it is secured on your face as frequent handling may reduce its protection. If you must do so, wash your hands before and after touching the mask.
When taking off the mask, avoid touching the outside of the mask as this part may be covered with germs.
After taking off the mask, fold the mask outwards (i.e. the outside of the mask facing inwards), then put the mask into a plastic or paper bag before putting it into a rubbish bin with a lid.