Monrovia — A viral WhatsApp message recommends the use of two masks for full protection against the new Delta variant of COVID-19. The message suggests that “people should use double mask because the Delta variant is different, deadly, and undetectable”.
Report By: Grace Z. Gaie, Local Voices Liberia Fact Checker
But are the instructions or comments about the use of two masks as a protection against the Delta variant correct?
When LocalVoicesLiberia checked, we found that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that wearing double mask is recommended for the prevention of the faster spread of Covid-19 variant like Delta. The CDC, however, said that the use of a single mask can also be effective against the Delta variant provided the mask is of appropriate quality.
A further review of the CDC’s regulation on how to properly wear mask recommends, amongst other things, that masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, mask that completely cover your nose and mouth, and those that fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps are advisable to use.
However, the regulation warns against the usage of masks that are made of fabric which makes it hard to breath. Mask made of vinyl or masks made of valves, and those with exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape, and those intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators or surgical masks.
Also, an article published in Healthline, advised that because of the “rise of more transmissible variants” double masking is even more important and can be “an important tool in preventing the spread of these new variant including the Delta variant”.
Additionally, a study by the CDC, which sought to determine how mask fit is important to protect people against COVID-19, found that “double mask blocked 85.4 percent of the aerosol particles. This is compared to 51.4 percent and 56.1 percent for the cloth and surgical mask, respectively”.
The World Health Organization does not have any clearly defined recommendation for the use of double mask but the global body has always stressed that “masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives” against Covid-19.
“Depending on the type, masks can be used for either protection of healthy persons or to prevent onward transmission,” the WHO stated on its website.
Based on the findings, we can conclude that the claim encouraging the use of double masks because the new variant is “different, deadly, and updatable” is mostly correct. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that even though wearing double masks is recommended for the prevention of the faster spread of the Covid-19 variant like Delta, using a single mask as well is not also wrong.
|People should use double mask because the Delta variant is different, deadly, and undetectable
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