The most important and effective measures for personal protection as well as for the protection of other persons from infection with respiratory pathogens are correct coughing and sneezing etiquette, good hand hygiene and keeping a distance (approx. 1 to 2 metres) from persons suspected of being ill. However, these measures are advisable everywhere and at all times in view of the wave of influenza.
If a person suffering from an acute respiratory tract infection has to move around in public places, it may be advisable for this person to wear a mouth-nose protection (e.g. a surgical mouthguard) to reduce the risk of infecting other people with droplets produced by coughing or sneezing (foreign protection).
For optimum effectiveness, it is important that the mouth and nose protector is correctly positioned. This must be worn close fitting and must be changed when it becomes steam. It should not be moved (even unconsciously) while being worn. Ask a medical professional to advise you whether this measure is advisable in your particular case, which mask is suitable for you and how to put on or change the mask correctly.
On the other hand, there is not sufficient evidence that wearing a mouthguard reduces the risk of infection for a healthy person wearing it. According to the WHO, wearing a mask in situations where it is not recommended can create a false sense of security. This can lead to central hygiene measures such as good hand hygiene being neglected.