Dell Medical School professor debunks 3 common myths about face masks

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An epidemiologist and professor at Dell Medical School has made a video to clear up a few of the misconceptions about wearing masks to help prevent spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Elizabeth Matsui, M.D. talks about the importance of using masks and what makes them effective.

“Because of science, we’ve learned two things about the virus,” Matsui says. “The first that we’ve learned is that people who are asymptomatic can spread the virus. The second thing that we’ve learned is that just breathing, talking, shouting and singing actually emit virus into the air and that the infection can be spread that way.”

The three myths doctor Matsui debunks are:

  • Myth 1: Masks aren’t necessary
    While mask-wearing wasn’t initially advised in the early weeks of the pandemic, Matsui says the guidance has changed as researchers learned more about how coronavirus is spread. Face covering helps block droplets, which may contain the virus, and helps keep it from spreading to other people.

  • Myth 2: I don’t need a face covering if I’m not sick
    Matsui explains that wearing a mask does help protect the wearer and should be used in combination with social distancing. Masks give an extra layer of protection to the wearer from others nearby who may be contagious.

  • Myth 3: Social distancing is unnecessary if I’m wearing a mask
    Face covering is just one factor in a handful of other suggested practices, but won’t always protect you if someone coughs or sneezes next to you. Keeping at least six feet away from others extends the distance moisture droplets must travel, making them less like to land on someone.

In the release from Dell Medical School, it adds that people should follow all the recommended steps to protect oneself and family members, including hand washing and avoiding large gatherings.

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