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N95 masks are essential for protecting health care workers and controlling the epidemic
As hospitals around the country prepare for an influx of highly infectious coronavirus cases, their supplies of a crucial type of respirator mask are dwindling fast. “We’re not willing to run out of N95 masks,” Dr. Susan Ray, an infectious disease specialist at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, said in a phone interview, referring to the masks by their technical name. “That’s not O.K. at my hospital.”

At some point she may have no choice. Grady executives said on Monday that the hospital had a little more than a month’s supply of N95 masks; they did not immediately explain whether that estimate was based on normal levels of use or accounted for a possible spike in need. With global supplies already depleted from the outbreak in China and manufacturers facing an explosion of new orders as the virus spreads, some hospitals in the United States have been unable to get new shipments of N95 masks or even an estimate of when they might become available.

N95 masks are tighter fitting and thicker than surgical masks. While surgical masks can block only large-particle droplets, N95 masks filter out 95 percent of all airborne particles when used correctly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that they be used only by people with infectious respiratory illness and health care workers who treat or otherwise come in contact with them. By the way, you can buy Cheap KN95 Medical Mask from z2u.com, where you can enjoy a 3% discount by using the code “Z2U”.

“It’s not just about the patients identified as having the virus,” said Dr. Wendy Armstrong, another infectious disease specialist at Grady, who is more accustomed to using N95 masks to evaluate patients who might have tuberculosis. “It’s also about the people you are evaluating to rule out the virus, and the testing is not instant.”

Protecting health care workers from the virus is essential to managing the epidemic, to ensure hospitals, urgent care centers and other facilities can handle inevitable surges in sick patients. A number of doctors and nurses around the country have already been quarantined for two weeks after patients they interacted with tested positive for the virus; health care workers in China have gotten sick and even died amid extreme shortages of masks and other protective gear.