he wearing of a mask has become a topic of fierce debate in some parts of the world; in the U.S people opposed to mask mandates have staged protests. Picture: Pexels

Most common face mask myths, debunked

Face masks are just one piece of the strategy for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, not the entire puzzle. In addition to mask-wearing, one should regularly practice social distancing, avoiding group gatherings, and sanitising their hands.

DURBAN – The wearing of a mask has become a topic of fierce debate in some parts of the world; in the U.S people opposed to mask mandates have staged protests. The debate continues to rage over on social media as misinformation continues to spread about the safety and necessity of a face mask.

Below are some of the most common face mask myths the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have debunked and provide reasons on why you have to continue wearing masks especially in public:

Masks Can Cause Lung Infections

  • There is currently no evidence that proves face masks can increase the wearer’s risk of developing pneumonia or other lung infections.
  • While the WHO does acknowledge that if a person wears the same mask for a long time, microorganisms may grow on the fabric, this can be avoided by washing the mask before its next use.

 

Masks Can Reduce Oxygen Intake And Increase The Risk Of Carbon Dioxide Poisoning

  • There is a fear that when exhaling into a face mask, one will inhale the circulating carbon dioxide increases the risk for hypercapnia, which is when a person has too much carbon dioxide in their blood. 
  • Symptoms include dizziness and headaches. However, you have nothing to worry about as most people only wear masks for a short period of time so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be affected.

 

Masks Are Dangerous For People With Lung Conditions (COPD, Asthma)

  • The WHO has acknowledged that people living with asthma, and other chronic respiratory conditions may experience difficulties when wearing face masks, it’s advisable to consult with your health care provider before making a decision about wearing a mask.

 

I Don’t Have To Wear A Mask If I’ve Already Had Covid-19

  • A recent study found that the antibody levels in some Covid-19 survivors dropped sharply after three months. While 60% of the patients had developed a strong antibody response while infected, only 17% retained it at the end of the testing period.
  • This then suggests that people who recover from Covid-19 still face the risk of contracting the virus again the importance of mask-wearing never fades.

 

Face Masks Eliminate The Need For Social Distancing

  • Face masks are not airtight, so there is still a risk of infection. This is why it’s important to adopt the 6-foot rule as this helps to offer additional protection.
  • Face masks are just one piece of the strategy for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, not the entire puzzle. In addition to mask-wearing, one should regularly practice social distancing, avoiding group gatherings, and sanitising their hands.

 

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