Cleveland Clinic doctor debunks 5 myths about use of cloth face masks

Cleveland Clinic doctor debunks 5 myths about use of cloth face masks
(Source: Live 5 News)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A doctor from the Cleveland Clinic dispelled five common rumors surrounding the use of cloth face masks to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Cloth masks may not prevent the wearer from inhaling particles that carry the coronavirus, according to the Cleveland Clinic, but they do help in preventing the individual wearing the face covering from spreading infections, especially if they are asymptomatic.

According to Dr. Aaron Hamilton, of the Cleveland Clinic:

  • Myth #1: Wearing a cloth mask is no use.
    • Cloth face masks can help protect the wearer’s family and community members. COVID-19 is believed to be spread through droplets that come out of someone’s nose or mouth. The cloth masks can act as a barrier and keep those droplets from spewing out into the air.
  • Myth #2: If I’m not sick, I don’t need to wear a mask.
    • Masks help people unknowingly pass an infection on because of the COVID-19′s ability to remain asymptomatic, or not showing symptoms, in some individuals.
  • Myth #3: If I wear a mask, I don’t need to social distance or stay home.
    • Cloths masks are considered one tool to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Other strategies include social distancing, not gathering in large groups, and washing hands frequently.
  • Myth #4: My mask just needs to cover my mouth.
    • A mask should snugly cover the mouth and the nose, so droplets do not dispel from those openings.
  • Myth #5: Wearing a mask will make me sick.
    • Social media users have suggested that wearing a mask means the individual is recirculating exhaled carbon dioxide. Dr. Hamilton says it is very unlikely that breathing in carbon dioxide while wearing a cloth face mask, especially for short periods of time, will make the person sick. However, children under the age of 2 years old and anyone who has trouble breathing shouldn’t wear cloth masks.

Wearing face masks in public is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and required in several states and cities, including Dayton.

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