Dont let the unseasonably warm weather sweeping over the majority of the country fool you. The flu season is off to a very late start this year the latest in 25 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To help combat the flu, Medline Industries, Inc., has introduced an FDA-cleared antiviral medical face mask that is shown to inactivate 99.99 percent of laboratory tested flu viruses, including pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza (flu) viruses such as H1N1, avian flu and swine flu.
Marketed under Medlines Curad® brand, the Curad® BioMask is now available at major retail outlets throughout the country, including Walgreens®, Walmart®, Meijer®, Albertsons® and Winn-Dixie®. The BioMask is also available for healthcare facilities and medical staff throughout the country.
According to the CDC, flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. According to the CDC, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.
Traditional face masks have remained virtually unchanged for the last several decades. Todays masks generally only act as a filter and can end up being a reservoir for harmful pathogens due to active viruses exposed on the mask. Now, a face mask can actually do more than just filter the air and can now inactivate harmful pathogens that land on both the outside and inside surfaces of mask.
The Curad® BioMask works by using a combination of citric acid, zinc and copper all powerful but safe ingredients. A hydrophilic coating on the outside quickly wicks droplets into and away from the outer surface. Viruses are inactivated on this outer layer by exposure to citric acid, which creates a low pH environment. The droplet then lands on the masks inner blue layer where influenza viruses are inactivated by copper and zinc, which are toxic to pathogens.
The key difference with the Curad® BioMask is that the BioMask inactivates several common strains of viruses when they come in contact with the mask while viruses that come in contact with standard masks are just filtered, which means they are still active and potentially infectious to the wearer and others, says Frank Czajka, president of the Proxima Division at Medline. Whether you are trying to stop from getting the flu or from sharing it with loved ones, you can feel confident of being protected with Medlines Curad BioMask because it is the only mask available today that actively breaks down viruses.
Another benefit of the Curad® BioMask is that it can minimize cross contamination. Commonly, the outer facing of the mask is frequently touched by the user, who then touches other things or people, but since the BioMask is designed to absorb infectious droplets and inactivate 99.9 percent of tested flu viruses, the risk of spreading the virus is greatly reduced.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that usually lasts between two and seven days. People with the flu commonly exhibit some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. In some cases the flu can lead to complications such as pneumonia, sinus and ear infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions.