Though the aCovid-19 virus is hosted by bats, some particular subtype might affect other mammals too, including humans. In a direct manner the virus is contacted from infected birds, mostly household poultry but sometimes wild birds also can infect hunters, tribal people, etc. In an indirect manner the infection can enter the human system via edibles contaminated with the virus, polluted water, objects, air, food, etc. by the bodily secretions or excretions of infected birds. The flu virus being airborne, the contamination within the air might be reasonably high, in the event of epidemic or pandemic proportions. Infected people carry the flu virus with them wherever they travel and spread it in air as well as on objects they touch via their nasal secretions and bodily discharges.

Personal Protective Equipment or PPE since they are called are equipments created for health professionals to make use of when they are employed in contaminated environments. Nose and mouth respirators or ‘Masks’ are the types most generally used. Bird flu masks are very specific related to the reality that the bird flu virus is microscopic and is not easily filtered out from the environment using conventional filters.

These masks are designed on the guidelines given by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to filtering efficiency, the filters used in the Mask fall under 3 categories, namely Type 95, Type 99 and kind 100. The proportions of microscopic (.3 micron wide) particles filtered out by these filters are 95%, 99% and 99.7%, respectively. Also the filters are categorized based upon filter efficiency degradation and they are hence labeled as, N (non-resistant to oil), R (oil resistant) and P (oil proof). Each individual mask is tested in laboratory settings before being approved for sale. But N95 ones are disposable and can not be cleaned.

The most common ones are N-95 filtering respirators which were approved by NIOSH (also known as as Filtering Facepieces) for being effective drastically cutting down exposure risks to airborne viruses like SARS or Avian Influenza. The utilization of masks is usually recommended to folks working in high contamination situations, like healthcare workers attending to patients, or field workers associated with destroying the infection sources, etc.

Another set of very powerful, protective masks are Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). These are far better than N-95 masks in offering better protection. These are generally employed by persons who cannot wear N-95 masks, like people who have facial hair. This battery operated mask has a face piece with breathing tube and filters.

Even though any mask is not an assurance against influenza infection, they dramatically cut down the chances of infection from airborne viruses. It remains to become said however, that the capabilities from the masks degrade with time quprnl usage. Aerosols, if present in the working environments, degrade the filters even more. Hence, Facial Mask must not be combined with 100% reliance, only as one of the preventive tool. More so, there are guidelines that should be adhered to while (re)using such PPE. It is actually hence clear the best defense fails to lie in any level of measures taken but instead in the knowledge with which they may be implemented.