New cases of the A/H1N1 Swine Flu have been seen in 8 students in a New York school.
By now everyone has seen TV footage of Mexican citizens wearing simple over the ear tie masks in an attempt to protect against the swine flu.
But the only real way to prevent the spread of any form of flu is really to avoid crowds.
The good news is that even these minimal paper masks will provide some help in preventing those who HAVE the flu from spreading it through the virus carrying droplets in coughs and sneezes.
Unfortunately, those masks are ineffective when it comes to protecting those uninfected individuals from inhaling the virus.
Although no simple mask can filter out the tiny virus particles of any disease, these are usually relatively delicate organisms and to remain viable and able to infect people they must be carried in water droplets.
The kinds of mask needed to help protect those trying to avoid infection are those designated as class N95 particulate masks. These are commonly recommended for use used in hospitals but are available for sale to the general public.
The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) “Interim Domestic Guidance on the Use of Respirators to Prevent Transmission of SARS” would also apply to other airborne virus infections (if the Swine Flu proves to be spread by air.
The CDC also has a current list of suppliers of disposable N95 respirators.
These masks are tested and certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are also used by NCSCAR teams for protection from dangerous dust.
In addition to decades as a science reporter, John A. McCormick has worked for years as a local emergency management coordinator (now retired) and has advised facilities and municipalities on preparations for a flu pandemic.
He also maintains a medical information Web site certified by HON, Healthcare on the Net (an NGO affiliate of the WHO in Geneva) as providing unbiased and accurate medical information.
HON verification status for New Medicine Online https://www.hon.ch/HONcode/Conduct.html?HONConduct889525.
HON was developed to provide assurance of the quality of online medical information given by independent sources.
“The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) promotes and guides the deployment of useful and reliable online health information, and its appropriate and efficient use. Created in 1995, HON is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. For twelve years, HON has focused on the essential question of the provision of health information to citizens, information that respects ethical standards. To cope with the unprecedented volume of healthcare information available on the Net, the HONcode of conduct offers a multi-stakeholder consensus on standards to protect citizens from misleading health information.”