Medline introduces new antiviral face mask

Medline, a Mundelein, Illinois-based privately-held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, announced the release on Tuesday of a new antiviral face mask that protects the wearer against flu viruses.

According to Medline, the CURAD Antiviral Face Mask is the first antiviral face mask indicated to inactivate 99.99 percent of laboratory-tested flu viruses, including seasonal and pandemic strains of flu. The mask inactivates flu viruses on five minutes' contact, according to the company.

"Now, more than ever, people need to break their cold and flu routine and be even more vigilant against flu viruses," Martie Moore, the chief nursing officer for Medline, said. "The CURAD Antiviral Face Mask is an easy, accessible and direct way to break the cycle and help stop the spread of germs. Taking care of a sick child or the elderly, hopping in an airplane or feeling vulnerable in public places are all examples of when wearing the CURAD Antiviral Face Mask can help protect you against the flu viruses you're bound to come in contact with."

Conventional face masks act as a barrier or filter and do nothing to neutralize harmful germs that remain active on the mask itself. Medline said that the CURAD Antiviral Face Mask reduces the risk of spreading the flu virus by inactivating 99.99 percent of flu viruses on five minutes' contact.

The outer layer of the mask locks in infectious droplets and inactivates them with citric acid. The inner layer contains zinc and copper ions to kill pathogens.

"The CURAD Antiviral Face Mask should be one of the most important items in any home's medicine cabinet or traveling first aid kit right alongside hand antiseptics, adhesive bandages, alcohol pads, tape and exam gloves," Moore said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitals and doctors provide their flu patients with face masks to help reduce flu transmission. According to an article published in the International Journal of Infectious Disease, family members of children with flu-like illnesses who used masks properly were 80 percent less likely to be diagnosed with influenza.