Masks Might Not Stop Bird Flu
April 28, 2006
by Lauran Neergaard
If a worldwide flu epidemic strikes, don't reuse a face mask - and don't assume, either, that it will offer a lot of protection, the Institute of Medicine said yesterday.
That's the bottom line from a long-awaited probe ordered by the government as it stockpiles supplies for a flu pandemic.
If it does strike, millions undoubtedly will turn to masks, raising a problem for the prestigious scientific organization: It is not clear that masks truly block the influenza virus...
...The report shows the government should buy more, said Jeff Levi of the advocacy group Trust for America's Health
. France, which is much smaller, has ordered 200 million masks, he said.
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