Do surgical face masks really help prevent you from getting or spreading the flu?

Do surgical face masks really help prevent you from getting or spreading the flu?
PHOTO: Reuters

So you see these coming out every time flu season is around, either on MRT train rides or at the office, and hearing slightly ill colleagues muffled voices explaining that they don't want to pass the bug to you. But do they really work?

According to Australian researchers, yes. They found that at home, wearing a surgical mask decreases a person's risk of getting sick from someone else by 60 to 80 per cent.

If you don't have a mask on you - what should you do?

Stand at least six feet from someone who's ill. The air surrounding the flu-stricken is loaded with germ, so the further the better.

And wash your hands - touching infected fingers to the nose and mouth can transmit infection as well!

This article was first published in Men's Health

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