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In the past few decades, in regions from Mexico to Asia, outbreaks in flu cases are matched with outbreaks in people wearing surgical masks. Individuals wearing masks believe that they provide at least a level of security against the flu.
Surgical masks are designed to stop spittle, mucus, etc. from falling out of the physician into the open wound of the patient in surgery. A regular mask is not considered to give the doctor any security. You can get to know about the effective FFP2 face masks (or N95 Masks) via an online search.
For that wearer using a mask to be protected from influenza, the mask needs to seal to your surface and the holes must be bigger compared to the herpes virus. Surgical masks don't even bother to adapt to the face area and give various openings for a virus to maneuver through. What's more, the influenza virus could readily pass through the mask since the holes in the weaving are much larger compared to viruses.
Much expensive, quality masks such as the N95, which may filter out 95 percent of particles down to .3 microns (and a human hair is about 100 microns in diameter) are not always effective in preventing viruses.
Besides giving the user a false sense of security, surgery masks might be counterproductive in different ways. By keeping the face warm and moist, many mask wearers might be creating conditions that help herpes survive and reproduce. The user might also be further exposed to the herpes virus once the mask has been removed.