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FLU MASKS

DO YOU NEED TO INVEST IN A MASK TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CONTRACTING THE FLU?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Should you and your children add an N95 face mask to your list of must haves this fall, in order to reduce your risk of contracting the flu?  No, says Mitchell Goldstein, a pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins.

GOLDSTEIN:  You do not have to have any of the fancy N95 or HEPA masks or those things.  Those are reserved for situations where there is more invasiveness where health care workers or perhaps home care nursing are doing things that are directly breaching the respiratory tract and in those cases those specialized masks are appropriate.  The most important thing is really good hand hygiene and teaching your kids to try and cover their coughs and cover their sneezes.          :26

Interestingly, many studies fail to demonstrate a protective benefit in wearing a mask to avoid infection with the flu or other types of viruses.  Indeed in some cases, they may give people a false sense of security and thus compromise other behaviors such as rigorous hand washing.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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