An Israeli company has developed a new face mask for medical staff with a filter that lasts for 60 hours, allowing healthcare professionals to work continuously without having to stop to replace its filters.
The ViriMASK is made by the Oneg HaKarmel company in Tirat Carmel near Haifa, and according to its developers, performs better in many areas than the N95 mask, which is currently considered the best on the market.
The new mask was developed by Prof. Noam Gavriely, formerly of the faculty at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology; Prof. Larry Murdoch, a specialist in respiratory systems; and Leonardo Schwartz, operations manager for plastic injection products.
The company conducted tests in its own and external laboratories and found that the mask provides more than 99% protection against the coronavirus. According to them, the N95 in comparison allows up to 5% of viral particles to pass through its filter.
In addition, ViriMASK also prevents viral particles from reaching the eyes, unlike the N95, which only provides protection for the nose and mouth.
According to the company, airflow resistance is three times greater with the N95 mask compared to the ViriMASK, leading to side effects such as headaches, shortness of breath and nausea.
The developers also said that ViriMASK users do not suffer from such issues.
The company says that it is currently able to produce some 10,000 masks each week, adding that there is already a great deal of interest from in Europe, North and South America, Australia, Africa and India.
It expects to start exporting the masks in the near future, charging $70 per mask, which comes with two filters. An additional five filters will also cost $70.
"Today's existing protection is not sufficient for the teams working at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus," says Gavriely.
"So in recent months we have developed a new mask that grants them the ability to work effectively, quickly and comfortably in a mask that fully protects them from coronavirus infection."