Most N95 respirators are designed to filter 95% particulates of 0.3µ, while the size of H1N1 virus is about 0.1µ. Hence, dependence on N95 to protect against H1N1 is like protecting against rain with an umbrella made of mosquito net. 'Tamiflu' does not kill but prevents H1N1 from further proliferation till the virus limits itself in about 1-2 weeks (natural cycle of viruses). H1N1, like other 'Influenza A viruses', only infects the upper respiratory tract and proliferates there. The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible not coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions.
Please realize that this is not an official advice, especially the one about face masks or N95. This is just an advice from a doctor working in AIMS, India.
Below are some of the tips to prevent H1N1 Swine Flu:
- Wash you hands frequently.
- Try not to touch your face often, resist all temptations to touch any part of face unless you want to eat or bathe.
- Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one.
- Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.
- Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C.
- Drink as much of warm liquids or water as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.