Swine flu and you: Don't waste money on painting and surgical masks

The Swine Flu, it's everywhere. You can't open a newspaper, have a discussion with a coworker or listen to the evening news without being inundated with information about it. The coverage of Swine Flu has already reached pandemic proportions and this is causing people to throw away money on a many things, but most of all masks.

According to an article in the Times Online some doctors in the U.S. have prescribed painters masks to patients concerned about the swine flu. In addition to that poor advice, medical stores in many states are reporting runs on surgical masks.

To start off with the obvious, painters masks aren't designed to protect you from a virus, they are designed to stop you from inhaling paint particles which are bigger than a virus. The only paint masks which would come close to offering any kind of protection from the Swine Flu are N95 rated masks which are the same grade as professional surgical masks.