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Can Face Mask Protect Against Coronavirus?

Today the most dangerous things that we are facing is perhaps Coronavirus. These coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause illness that range from common cold to more severe diseases such as acute respiratory syndrome. A novel coronavirus is a newly identified strain of coronavirus that was not recognized earlier.

In the year 2019, COVID-19 or a new coronavirus strain originated in Wuhan, China, that has began causing severe and fatal pneumonia and also respiratory problems throughout the world. With this, people started running to buy face masks to wear in public areas so as to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

But the question is, Can face mask protect against coronavirus?

Can Face Mask Protect Against Coronavirus?

Well, the simple answer is “No!” Wearing a facemask does not guarantee that you won’t fall sick of the coronavirus. Viruses can also transmit via your eyes and the tiny viral particles which are known as aerosols, can also penetrate the masks. However, it must be mentioned that face masks are effective at capturing droplets, which in fact is a primary route of the transmission of coronavirus.

Can Face Mask Protect Against Coronavirus?

It is noted that a healthy individuals do not require to wear a face mask and a regular medical or surgical face mask is not at all the ideal solution to deal with coronavirus.

This is because a surgical mask does not actually fit tightly over your mouth and nose, it is also difficult to keep a mask on the face for a longer time period, it is impossible to prevent airborne virus infection, and also when you touch the face mask, you lose the protection and it must be disposed safely.

However, according to CDC, if you are sick with COVID-19, then it is a must that you should wear face masks so as to reduce the risk of the infection to people around you.(1) It is also advised that those who are taking care of the infected patients must also wear face masks so as to keep themselves protected.

However, there is a more specialized mask, known as the N95 respirator, that can actually protect against the new coronavirus, also known as SARC-Co V02. This is a thicker mask as compared to the surgical mask. But, at this point CDC or the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control does not recommend this type of mask. This is because it is challenging to put of this type of mask for a longer time period. Moreover, if too many people unnecessarily stockpile N95 respirator masks then there would be a shortage of the masks and it could put the medical health professional and health workers at a higher risk those who actually need them.


So, wearing a face mask cannot protect against coronavirus. However, people having cold or flu must wear a mask so as to prevent others from falling sick.

The best way to avoid getting infected with coronavirus is to not travel outside, stay at home unless it is very urgent to go outside, wash your hands thoroughly with handwash, sanitizers and soaps; avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth and also avoid close contact with individuals who are sick. It is also important for you to disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. This has been recommended by the CDC.(2)


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 18, 2020

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