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How wearing a face mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19

The mask may be too porous to stop an individual virus molecule, but that isn't how the virus molecule leaves a carrier.

TEXAS, USA — When it comes to the basic function of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 crisis. The issue boils down to one question...how does it help?

From a scientific perspective, Dr. Rohith Saravanan says it comes down to stopping virus-carrying droplets from spreading.

"Masks are a physical barrier that prevents droplets from leaving your nose and mouth,"

Simple as that, virus carriers spread the virus through droplets from their nose and mouth while talking, breathing, and sneezing.

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The Doctor says one of these droplets can contain millions of virus molecules.

"Inhaling them is what makes you sick," said Dr. Saravanan.

While it's true, a mask is too porous to stop a single virus molecule passing through.

The infected droplets can be stopped by wearing a mask. Most effectively when both parties are wearing one.

So consider this, There are virus carriers out there that aren't showing symptoms, or someone could have recently come in contact with the virus and contracted it, unaware of their spreading capability.

That's why protective barriers between people are important right now.

Now when it comes to wearing masks for a long period of time, Dr. Saravanan says the porous nature of the mask is a good thing.

"Gas exchange is not at all blocked," said Dr. Saravanan.

This means your not continuously breathing in carbon dioxide that you exhale.

According to Dr. Saravanan, only a very minor percent of the population is at any risk of wearing a mask for a prolonged time.

"Masks for people with normal lung capacity is not at all an issue," said Saravanan.

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