The Coronavirus outbreak has caused a major concern worldwide about the possible spread of the diseases in other parts of the world with China’s Wuhan being the epicenter. While the virus itself can prove to be fatal what’s more concerning is the misinformation around it. After three confirmed cases of Coronavirus infection in Kerala, citizens across the country have started to read more about it to stay protected. However, with WhatsApp being one of the key sources of information for most people, there’s a steady rise in misinformation that is being spread.
One of the most commonly shared WhatsApp messages around Coronavirus protection has to do with wearing a N95 mask in India. The message grabs the attention of the user by claiming that even doctors don’t know how to use a medical mask properly. The WhatsApp message claims that the proper way to wear a mask and stay protected from Coronavirus depends on whether you are infected or not. The message states that users should wear medical masks inside-out or with the coloured side out inorder to prevent the virus from spreading if you are sick. And if you are not sick, you should wear the mask as it should be worn– white side out.
For those unaware, readers should understand that it doesn’t matter how you wear the mask. “The typical N95 mask comes with a filter and it works the same way irrespective of whether you wear it with the white part out or not. However, wearing a mask inside out will be uncomfortable and might even lead to gaps around the nose,” said Dr Ashok Kumar, specialist chest, heart diseases & diabetes.
Readers are highly recommended to not fall for such WhatsApp messages and use a mask the way it meant to be used.
“Note that there is no special or different mask for Coronavirus. So, don’t be fooled by shopkeepers. User any good quality N95 mask. While mask might help in prevention, it definitely doesn’t guarantee absolute protection as it might spread through body fluids as well,” added Dr Kumar.