Over two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, living with the virus in the community has now become the norm - and it's likely to stay that way for a while. Among things like physical distancing, hand sanitising and staying home when sick, one of the best ways to limit the spread of the virus will continue to be wearing a protective face mask in public areas. However, not all masks are created equal when it comes to protection against different strains.
Here's a look at some of the different kinds of masks and how well they block the Omicron virus.
Cloth masks: While they might have been useful in protecting against earlier strains, single layer cloth masks are unable to block out Omicron as effectively as multi-layered masks, especially if the mask doesn't fit tightly on your face. Cloth masks with multiple (three+) layers are more protective, but you may experience difficulty breathing through those layers and they don't typically seal around your face as well as certain other mask types.
Surgical masks: The standard blue and white surgical masks (also known as 'medical' or 'procedural' masks) are generally accepted to be more protective than the average cloth mask. However, like cloth masks, they only work well when they fit snugly on your face, and the design and nose wire of standard surgical masks is often not strong enough to ensure a tight fit. Surgical masks also have a habit of slipping down when you talk, meaning a higher risk of contamination.
P2, N95, KN95 and KF94 masks: The most protective mask options widely available in New Zealand, these different respirator mask types have been deemed by experts across the world to be the best at filtering out the virus due to their face-fitting design and high quality non-woven filters which also provide high breathability.
Less well known than its China-made KN95 counterpart, the Korea-made KF94 is an equivalent option with many of the same benefits of N95 and comparable protection for anyone that wants to purchase a high-quality mask for an affordable price. The MB100 mask model, also made in South Korea and imported by Kiwi company Nature Pac, is certified not only as a genuine KF94, but also as CE FFP2 and ASTM level 2 (European and American standards).
Here are some of the benefits of the MB100 KF94.
- High filtration rate that is close to 99 per cent to block bacterial and viral particles
- Offers earloop clip in every individual pack for a secure fit behind your head
- More affordable than alternatives
- 3D foldable respirator allows space for breathing/talking while maintaining a tight seal
- Offers an adjustable nose clip for a secure, comfortable fit
- Light weight and comfortable to wear for a long time
With increased interest due to its comfort and protection, the KF94 mask is becoming more popular. As such, Nature Pac is now supplying to the NZ Market.
Nature Pac, a 100 % New Zealand owned and operated provider of eco-friendly products, is a major supplier of Korean KF94 masks to government departments, corporates, pharmacies, wholesalers, and individuals across New Zealand. The MB100 mask model can be purchased in many pharmacies throughout the country, or simply by on Nature Pac's online store.