One of the first major world news stories to break in 2020 is the spread of Coronavirus in China. News broadcasts delivering an endless stream of images of people in Coronavirus masks, trying their best to reduce their risk in these vulnerable areas. While the official numbers are still a bit hazy, it’s estimated that over 100,000 thousand people have been infected by this potentially life-threatening ailment so far. China appears to be taking steps to control the outbreak of the virus. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the severity of the outbreak and how it could potentially affect the rest of the world.
This outbreak has occurred around the same time as the Chinese New Year. Due to increased travel to and from China, there’s an increased risk of global spread. Already, there have been confirmed cases in 13 locations outside of mainland China, including the United States.
While scientists and doctors continue to work towards a solution to this virus outbreak, it’s important that you stay protected. Whether you’re close to a region with confirmed cases of Coronavirus or you plan on traveling, the best Coronavirus masks can help you lower your chances of contracting the virus. Coronavirus is highly contagious, so a mask will act as your first line of defense to keep you healthy.
Coronavirus is not a new health risk. It was first discovered in the 1960s. Scientists and medical professionals are continuing to research the virus and learn more about how it affects humans and animals. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t the first time Coronavirus has caused global health risks. There have been outbreaks in the past. The latest was in 2003.
Coronavirus is an umbrella term used to describe several kinds of viruses that infect mammals. It’s aptly named for the crown-like appearance the virus has when viewed through a microscope.
While the world has had to deal with one type of Coronavirus in the past, this particular strain is brand new. It has been dubbed “2019-nCoV” or Wuhan Coronavirus. The first case of infection was discovered in early December 2019. By mid-December, there were several cases throughout Wuhan, China.
It is believed that this particular strain originated from a snake. Typically, the virus spreads by touching or eating an infected animal. Once it starts affecting humans, it can easily spread through coughs, sneezing, and simple touching. Wuhan is one of the largest cities in China. It’s home to about 11 million people, so doctors, scientists, and government officials have been working hard since the outbreak to keep things contained.
With that said, there have been several reports about the severity of the outbreak. Hospitals in the region are simply not prepared to deal with the massive influx of patients, making it difficult to treat patients.
Unlike other major illnesses, the symptoms of Coronavirus are relatively mild. They are very similar to common colds. Patients can experience respiratory problems, headaches, fevers, and gastrointestinal upsets. The vast majority of cases had relatively mild symptoms. However, Coronavirus has the potential to cause serious respiratory infections. Once the virus has reached this stage, it is potentially lethal. At the end of January 2020, there have already been over 100 confirmed deaths related to Coronavirus.
How to Choose the Best Coronavirus Mask
Masks are fairly common in China and other Asian countries. Mainland Asia is notorious for its pollution issues, so you’ll see people wearing them when they walk outside. While those masks do offer some protection, they won’t give you the security you need to avoid Coronavirus.
To work effectively as a Coronavirus mask, face masks need to be able to filter the air you breathe efficiently while blocking out harmful bacteria. Here are some of the most important things to consider when shopping for a mask.
A mask will not do you any good if it doesn’t fit correctly. Even the tiniest gap between the mask and your face is enough to let harmful bacteria and particulates in. Basic masks only contain filtering fabric and straps that go around your ears.
For the best protection, stick with contoured masks. These usually have curved nose pieces that allow you to get a snug fit. Adjustable ear straps and a rigid metal nose piece are preferred. The nose piece can be curved to match the exact contours of your face, ensuring that you have the best protection possible.
Masks do not last forever. In fact, it can be more dangerous to continually use an old mask over a prolonged period of time. If the mask has done its job, the filtering media will be filled with particulates. Keeping the mask on you or in your home may help the virus spread even more.
There are several types of filtering components available. Some are simple and disposable. You can use the mask for a day and toss it out when you’re done. Typically, these masks are affordable enough to buy in bulk.
Alternatively, you can go with a mask that has a disposable filter cartridge. Usually placed on the front of the mask, this filter cartridge works to catch particulates before they get to your mouth or nasal passage. Activated carbon filters are pretty common. You might also find masks with multiple layers of protection that you can swap out to maintain the mask’s efficiency.
Finally, you need to pay attention to the N rating. The N rating refers to the capabilities of the mask. A lower rating indicates that the mask can only block out large particulates. To stay safe from the Coronavirus and other airborne issues, go with a mask that has an N95 rating or higher. The N95 rating means that the mask can filter out 95 percent of particulates that are 0.3 microns in size or bigger.
Best Coronavirus Masks on the Market
To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve rounded up a collection of some of the best masks that can protect you from Coronavirus.
3M Particulate Respirator 8233 (N100)
The 8233 respirator mask from 3M offers some maximum protection against airborne particulates. The N100 rating indicates that the mask will effectively block out 99.97 percent of non-oil particulates. Thus, it’s a superb option for staying safe from Coronavirus and other airborne illnesses.
The mask features two adjustable elastic straps. It also features some nice contouring around the nose and a thick flange encompassing the perimeter. The mask works great with eyewear. Plus, it’s completely disposable.
When it comes to comfort, this mask is top-notch. It has a Cool Flow valve that’s designed to prevent heat buildup. It’s ventilated without sacrificing protection.
- N100 Rating
- NIOSH Approved
- Blocks at least 99.97 percent of non-oil particulates
- Reduces heat buildup in mask
- Two adjustable straps
3M Rugged Comfort Quick Latch Half Facepiece (N100)
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty mask, check out this model from 3M. It’s a reusable face mask that features two spots for filter cartridges. This particular model is compatible with all bayonet style cartridges. You can easily get a filter that matches your desired protection level.
The cool thing about this mask is that it’s built to last. It’s made of molded plastic that follows the contours of your face for a tight seal. Furthermore, there are several adjustable straps to get the right fit. One strap acts as a quick-release system. It allows you to take the mask on and off within seconds.
Like other 3M masks, this one has the Cool Flow valve for comfort. An additional exhaust valve is included as well. It helps to prevent moisture build-up and fogging.
- Cool Flow valve
- Exhaust valve
- Compatible with bayonet cartridges
- Fully adjustable
- Available in three sizes
3M Paint Spray Respirator 07192
Here’s another 3M reusable mask that deserves your attention. While this model may not be as feature-rich as the previous one, it still has a lot to offer those looking to keep themselves protected from Coronavirus.
It’s a virtually maintenance-free mask. All you have to do is periodically swap out the cartridges. Two N95 filters are included. However, the mask is compatible with many other 3M filter cartridges. So, you can easily get vapor cartridges or N100 filters.
The mask is contoured for ultimate protection. Two adjustable straps wrap around the entire head for comfort.
- N95 rating
- Contoured design
- Replaceable cartridges
- Adjustable straps
- Can be worn with eye protection
Child-Sized Masks (N99)
Kids have a higher risk of being affected by Coronavirus due to their weaker immune systems. This mask from SIHE can keep your children safe no matter where they go. Not only is it designed to fit smaller heads, but it also offers an impressive level of protection.
The filter cartridges have an N99 rating. The fabric itself is even comprised of multiple filter layers. There are five layers in total. Sandwiched in the middle is activated carbon.
The masks have been lab-tested to ensure that they can prevent 99.9 percent of particulates from getting through.
- N99 rating
- Multiple filter layers
- Adjustable nose clip
- Comes with 5 filter cartridges
- Exhaust valve
3M Particulate Respirator 8210 (N95)
These masks from 3M are a popular choice among industrial workers because they can effectively block out about 95 percent of particulates. They’re affordable and very easy to work with. Each mask has a built-in nose clip that can be adjusted to fit your face. It’s also slightly molded and has a secure seal around the perimeter.
Within the mask, there’s an electrostatically charged microfiber filter. This material is very effective at catching airborne dust, viruses, and more. Plus, it’s disposable, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with replaceable cartridges. The inside also has some light foam padding to ensure that you can wear it all day long.
- N95 rating
- Comes in a pack of 20
- Adjustable nose clip
- Built-in foam
- Elastic straps
GVS SPR457 Elipse Face Mask (N100)
GVS may not be as well-known as its competitors, but the brand has a great reputation for making high-quality protective gear. This mask is no different. It’s primarily marketed towards painters, construction workers, and industrial workers. However, the included HEPA filter and NIOSH approved design make it great for staying protected against viruses.
There are two large filters included. You can replace those filters with other models that fit your protection needs. The mask itself is made out of lightweight thermoplastic material. It’s completely hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for those who can’t use latex or silicone.
- Includes HEPA filter
- Lightweight design
- Made of thermoplastic material
- NIOSH approved
- Replaceable filters
- Adjustable straps
- Comes in a couple of sizes
3M Cool Flow Respirator 8511 (N95)
While these masks may look simple, they’re more than capable of providing you with all the Coronavirus protection you need. The disposable masks can block ou 95 percent of airborne particulates. Thanks to the affordable price, you can simply throw out used masks at the end of the day instead of replacing cartridges.
The mask is contoured and has an adjustable nose clip to keep it snug against your face. Inside, there’s 3M’s Cool Flow valve. The valve lets you breathe easy and stay cool. Yet, it manages to maintain that N95 protection.
- N95 Rating
- Comfortable to wear
- Cool Flow valve
- Adjustable nose piece
- Elastic straps
- Available in bulk packs
3M Full-Face Reusable Respirator 6900
The full face mask from 3M offers some of the best protection on the market. In addition to preventing you from inhaling airborne particulates, the mask has eye protection. A large contoured lens ensures that you’re getting a clear view of your surroundings at all times.
The mask has the Cool Flow valve to keep you cool as well. While this doesn’t come with any filters, it is compatible with most 3M cartridges. This particular mask uses two cartridges for ultimate protection. Thanks to the unique design, you can easily check the seal of the mask. Pliable rubber material around the perimeter and a fully adjustable strap system keep it tight to your face at all times.
- Compatible with 3M cartridges
- Cool Flow valve
- Contoured shape
- Built-in eye protection
- Robust strap system
- Easy to check the seal
- Available in many sizes
Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus
How many people have been infected?
Globally, there are almost 4,500 confirmed cases of Coronavirus at the end of January 2020. However, it’s suspected that those figures are not accurate. There have been several reports that the official figures provided by the Chinese government are downplaying the severity of the outbreak.
Multiple news reports and videos show hospitals at capacity. Allegedly, medical professionals within the area are overwhelmed with the sheer number of patients exhibiting symptoms. Reports from within Wuhan, China, estimate that as much as 100,000 people are affected.
How contagious is the virus?
Coronavirus reportedly has an R0 value of 3.8. This figure is used to indicate how easily a virus is transmitted from one person to another. at 3.8, Coronavirus is slightly more contagious than the flu.
Is there a cure?
Currently, there is no known cure for the virus. There isn’t a vaccination, either. The best form of protection is preventions, and Coronavirus masks can help with that.
Where has Coronavirus been confirmed?
Beyond China, there are confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States, France, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
Currently, China is controlling exit and entrance points in Wuhan to control the spread throughout the mainland.
How has it spread?
The virus is spread through human contact. Sneezing and coughing are the main cause. It has reached other countries due to air, boat, and road travel. That is why the best Coronavirus masks can work as your first line of defence.
What are some common symptoms?
The symptoms are similar to the flu. Those affected can experience fever, coughing, headaches, and more. Pneumonia and breathing difficulties have been reported as well. Extreme cases can lead to respiratory disease.
How long do symptoms take to appear?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question just yet. However, medical professionals believe that it can take anywhere between 2 and 14 days for symptoms to appear after infection.
I have the flu vaccine. Am I protected from Coronavirus?
Current flu vaccinations do not provide any protection from Coronavirus. The flu is caused by completely different virus strains.
How is Coronavirus treated?
There isn’t a specific treatment plan for Coronavirus. Typically, doctors will treat the symptoms of the virus. In most cases, people recover on their own with rest.
Coronavirus is causing a lot of concern around the world. While it has not yet reached pandemic levels just yet, it doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side. The best Coronavirus masks can help you breathe clearly and dramatically reduce your risks of contracting the virus.