Which protective mask is better?

By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There has been a big run on those protective masks at local pharmacies. Despite the fact that numerous health officials say they're not needed right now, some are wearing them. We wondered what kind of protection they actually offer?

A local pharmacist says the best mask to get is called an N-95. It does a good job covering portions of your face.  But if you can't find that one, you can use a surgical mask.  The problem is there are gaps where germs can easily enter.

Health officials say a mask is needed for an infected person to prevent the germs from spreading. A mask can also be good for a person not trying to catch the deadly virus.

"I don't think there is a need for people to wear a mask at all times," Pharmacist Chris Calagis said. "The best time to wear a mask is if you are close to someone who is infected. You may not always know that, so if you really want to protect yourself and want that extra layer of protection and if you are going to be in a crowded place in public, it would be a good time to wear a mask. But if you are only around people you are familiar with, no need to wear a mask."

Since masks are flying off the shelves, the best thing to do is sneeze and cough into your elbow. And keep those hands washed and sanitized.