Friday, October 02, 2009

Face Masks Offer Protection Against Spreading H1N1

/PRNewswire/ -- With flu season officially underway on October 4th, Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE:CMN) , a company dedicated to infection prevention and control, recommends that Americans take extra precautions against spreading H1N1 influenza. Crosstex International, a subsidiary of Cantel Medical, is one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of face masks.

Best evidence suggests that the H1N1 virus is transmitted through large droplets from sneezes or coughs that travel through the air and land on surfaces. The virus can remain active for up to 24 hours.

Because the risk of transmission of the virus skyrockets with every sneeze and cough, face masks are a vital tool in fighting H1N1. Wearing a high-quality, FDA-cleared face mask that covers the mouth and nose can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

A report from the Institute of Medicine states, "In the event of pandemic influenza, supplies of effective vaccines and antiviral medications are likely to be inadequate to treat a very large number of affected individuals. Therefore, non-pharmacological interventions will be important, including the use of respiratory protection through respirators, medical masks or both."

Seth Segel, Executive Vice President at Cantel Medical said, "We know that masks provide one of the simplest, most cost-effective infection prevention tools in the fight against spreading the flu. While seeing someone wearing a mask on a crowded subway can be startling, during flu season, it should actually provide you with a level of comfort. The more people who wear masks, the lower the risk of transmitting the disease, especially in densely populated areas."

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