Do Dust Masks Stop Swine Flu?

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

There have now been at least 105 confirmed cases of Swine Flu in the world. People are scared and some are panicking and many are starting to wear dust and surgical masks when they go out. But will they protect you from getting the Swine Flu?

The simple answer is no. But the Swine Flu could already be here in Colorado. Kristy Emerson with the Mesa County Health Department says, "The state health department has sent tests to the Center for Disease Control for further testing."
Time to start putting on those dust masks right? Wrong.
Emerson says, "It's just not appropriate at this time."

Lowe's Paint Department Manger Nathan Herald says, "Its good at protecting yourself from Hanta-virus and stuff like that; the airborne." Herald also says the mask will protect you, "for woodworking, sanding fiberglass, particulates that can get into your lungs and irritate them."
Just not against the Swine Flu.

"The basic function of a dust mask is to really just keep particulates out of your lungs," says Herald.
But before all hope is lost lets put things in perspective.

According to the World Health Organization there have been at least 105 confirmed cases of Swine Flu. With seven deaths reported.

Seasonal flu claims around 250,000-500,000 lives each year. And there's even a shot available to prevent it.

The easiest way to protect yourself from Swine Flu is to ditch mask and pick up the soap, for a good old fashioned hand washing.

Emerson says, "That's what we recommend during seasonal influenza and it's no different at this time." The Mesa County Health Department says if you're sick stay home and watch where you put your germs.

Emerson says, "We're encouraging individuals to cough or sneeze into a Kleenex or tissue or sneeze into your elbow."

The Health Department also says to be careful when touching your eyes and nose and mouth as that is how most germs are spread.

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