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"Nurses Association demands medical masks be mandatory to protect against swine flu


First link from CDC shows who makes N-95 particle masks and in some instances where you can buy them.  They look like regular particle masks but have many more layers of filtration, and are usually available with and without exhale valves.   

"NIOSH-Approved Disposable Particulate Respirators (Filtering Facepieces)



"Nurses Association demands medical masks be mandatory to protect against swine flu

By Richard Sisk and Erica Pearson
Source NY Daily News

Saturday, September 5th 2009, 4:00 AM

"Nurses across the state are demanding medical masks that effectively protect them from swine flu.

A day after scientists said health care workers who come in close contact with flu patients should wear an N95 respirator, the New York State Nurses Association rallied its 37,000 members.

In an open letter to State Commissioner of Health Richard Daines, the association called for respirators to be standard in New York, saying airborne germs are a "clear hazard for workers."

"Surgical face masks are not sufficient and particles can get through," said registered nurse Renee Gecsedi, the association's director of education practice and research.

Claire Pospisil, spokesperson for the State Department of Health, said the state's current guidelines are adequate and that nurses will be protected by mandatory vaccinations.

N95 respirators, which have filters and a tight seal, can be up to 12 times more effective than surgical masks against airborne swine flu germs, according to Institute of Medicine scientists, who advise the federal government.

As nurses worried about their own health, federal officials urged day care and Head Start workers, as well as parents of kids under 5, to take special swine flu precautions.

"We know this is a young person's flu," said Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. "Children less than 5 years old are at higher risk for complications. Children spread flu quickly."

She said little kids and people in close contact with them should get the regular flu shot now, and added that feds plan to quickly distribute the H1N1 vaccine to day care and Head Start centers once it is available."


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