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Coronavirus: Don't believe this WhatsApp hoax about masks

The hoax suggests that people must wear surgical masks the regular way to prevent the inward flow of pathogens and inside-out to prevent the outward flow.

  • Published: February 4, 2020 1:40 PM IST

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

With the coronavirus outbreak going on, misinformation on the topic is also running rampant around the globe. A new WhatsApp message is also being circulated on many people’s phones. The message advises people to wear surgical masks inside-out to use them in the best way possible. A surgical mask should be worn with the colored part outside and the white portion inside. At least that’s what we’ve been taught all our lives. So how true is this new ‘instruction’?

However according to a report by ToI, the forward is nothing more than a hoax. The surgical masks are basically filters. They prevent the passing of germs through the mask surface. Whether you wear the mask inside out or the other way, germs cannot pass through.

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What happens if you wear the mask inside out?

However, if you do wear the mask with the colored portion inside and the white portion outside, it will be uncomfortable. You might feel irritation on your face from wearing the mask like this for too long. The publication confirmed the findings from Dr Romil Tickoo from Max Hospital and Dr Tarun Sahni from Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

The masks are effective in preventing the spread of various contagious diseases. This includes the new coronavirus that has been causing panic across the globe. The virus is commonly spread through the air and a filter like a surgical mask will prevent possible infection. However, to be completely safe of the outbreak, one must follow some more measures.

How you can stay safe from the coronavirus

People need to stay away from others who have cold and flu-like symptoms. Wear a mask outdoors to prevent infection. Further, remember to wash your hands regularly to avoid ingesting the virus. The doctors also stated that the virus can also spread by the transfer of bodily fluids.

Professionals suggest that the N 95 surgical mask is one of the best masks to go for. However, there are cheaper options available that still offer some protection. The masks are available in various shapes and sizes and both the ones for kids and adults offer the same level of protection.

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  • Published Date: February 4, 2020 1:40 PM IST