8 myths about COVID-19 face mask, killed
8 myths about COVID-19 face mask, killed

8 myths about COVID-19 face mask, killed

Properly worn face masks have been shown to protect you and others from COVID-19.

James Martin / CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit WHO and CDC sites.

COVID-19 cases in the United States have declined since the January rise, and all states have since removed their state-wide mask mandates. Philadelphia, however, is reintroducing its requirement for indoor masking from April 18 due to an increase in reported infections. That Transportation Security Administration announced earlier in the week extended it federal mask mandate for public transportation with two weeks, which include planes, buses and trains. It is now set to expire on May 3rd.

That Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization agree it properly wearing face mask over your nose and mouth has been shown to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 986,000 Americans.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been many misconceptions about face masks, from who should wear them to which ones are the best kind, so we address the most common ones here, supported by information from experts. For more, get the latest on home COVID-19 test.

Myth 1: You do not need a mask if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19

While the CDC and WHO have eased masking recommendations, they both still recommend everyone wearing masks while in high transmission areas. This includes those who are fully vaccinated as COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% effective and everyone can carry and spread the disease.

The CDC says that everyone aged 2 and older should wear a mask indoors in public in areas where COVID-19 community level is high, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC also notes that if you or someone you live with has an increased risk of serious illness, you should talk to your healthcare provider about wearing a mask at the medium COVID-19 community level.

Myth 2: Dust masks are useless

Although a drug cover alone may not completely prevent anyone from spreading coronavirus, it still reduces the likelihood. If a fabric mask is all you have, it can still act as a physical barrier by absorbing airway droplets carrying coronavirus.

“Every mask is better than no mask,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a COVID-19 briefing. Her agency recommends well-fitting masks, which can include multiple layers of fabric masks.

Still, the most protective masks are N95 respirators, which block 95% of small particles, including viruses, and they are much easier to find now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic. If you’re worried that using N95 masks will mean frontline workers do not have access to them, that’s no longer a concern.

Read more: The best face masks to stop COVID-19

Myth 3: Only people who are sick with COVID-19 should wear face masks

If you do not experience Symptoms of covid-19it does not necessarily mean that you are not infected: The CDC cites more than a dozen studies indicates it asymptomatic or presymptomatic people can still spread the virus.

If you are going out in public or want to be around people who are not part of your household, wear a face mask to protect them even if you are vaccinated. You may be sick without being aware of it, either because you are asymptomatic, presymptomatic, or blame mild symptoms on other causes, such as allergies. People who are easily affected can still spread the virus to others, including those at higher risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19.

Scientists and medical experts generally agree COVID-19 is an airborne virus: Wearing a mask forms a barrier that catches virus-containing droplets emitted by the wearer. In other words, if you do not wear a mask and you breathe in the same air as an infected person who also does not wear a mask, your risk of getting coronavirus increases dramatically.

syringe and mask

Even fully vaccinated individuals should continue to wear face masks.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Myth 4: Wearing a mask only protects you from infecting others

According to the CDC, while the primary function of masks is to block the release of “exhaled airborne particles into the environment,” several studies have shown that substance masks can also reduce the user’s exposure to infectious droplets through filtration – including particles smaller than 10 microns.

“Multiple layers of fabric with higher thread count have shown superior performance compared to single layers of fabric with lower thread count,” the agency wrote in a release, “in some cases, almost 50% of fine particles filter less than 1 micron.”

Some materials, such as polypropylene, can improve filtration by generating static electricity that improves the capture of charged particles.

In addition to the material and number of layers on your mask, an improvement in its fit can also improve the filtration. “Examples include, but are not limited to, mask fiters, knot-and-tucking of ear straps on medical procedure masks, use of a fabric mask placed over a medical procedure mask, and nylon stocking sleeves,” the CDC said.

Myth 5: It is dangerous to wear a mask due to carbon dioxide

When worn correctly, stitches completely cover your nose and mouth – from the bridge of the nose (above the nostrils) down under the chin, with no holes on the sides.

Some people have suggested that surgical masks capture exhaled carbon dioxide and cause the user to inhale more CO2. This myth gained much attention after a June 2021 letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested high levels of carbon dioxide in children wearing surgical masks. JAMA withdrew the report two weeks laterwith reference to problems with the study methodology, data, and conclusions.

WHO confirms long-term use of surgical masks does not lead to CO2 poisoning or lack of oxygen. And research from the American Thoracic Society demonstrated that face masks do not generate dangerous levels of carbon dioxide, even in patients with severe lung disease.

As Fast.ai notesCOVID-19 particles are 100 nanometers in diameter, while carbon dioxide molecules are only 0.33 nanometers, exponentially smaller and almost impossible to block with a mask.

Myth 6: You do not have to take social distance while wearing a mask

People wear masks when in public or with strangers to reduce their chances of getting or spreading coronavirus. But the WHO says that the use of masks alone is not enough to provide a sufficient amount of protection. In contrast to N95 masks, which undergo a certification processthere is no regulatory authority that regulates materials or the production of fabric masks.

In addition to wearing a mask properly, you should continue to practice physical distancing, washing your hands often and avoiding touching your face. The CDC still recommends staying at least 6 feet away from people whenever possible, even when masked.

Myth 7: Wearing face masks weakens your immune system

The myth of the weakened immune system stems from the idea that the human immune system is strengthened by exposure to bacteria and other pathogens.

The American Lung Association says there is no scientific evidence that wearing a mask weakens the immune system. But even young and healthy people, without pre-existing conditions, can catch and spread COVID-19: As of January 12, 18- to 34-year-olds were the demographic with the highest number of reported cases in California. according to the State Department of Public Health.

Washing your hands and wearing a mask will not adversely affect your immune system, especially in adults. In fact, researchers at the National Institutes of Health published a study in February that suggests that face masks can actually Help your immune system. The moisture created by masks hydrates the airways and creates proteins called interferons that strengthen your immune system and add additional protection against COVID-19.

Myth 8: You do not have to wear a mask outside

Research has shown that the chances of spreading COVID-19 outdoors are as much as 19 times lower than spreading it indoors, but you should still wear a mask in outdoor areas where physical distance is not possible. For example, if you are hiking on a busy trail, going to an outdoor concert or enjoying an amusement park.

You do not have to wear a mask outdoors if you run in a secluded area or if you spend time in your own backyard with the people you live with. However, if you are planning to go to a crowded outdoor area, you should (and may be required to) mask yourself.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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