Reusing masks may increase your risk of coronavirus infection, expert says

Article Retracted: Please note the debate on masks has been contentious worldwide, please follow the expert advice as directed and make sure the advice is up-to-date. Advice from WHO, CDC, NIAID and News-Medical has updated mask articles as this topic progresses.



Article Revisions

  • Oct 19 2023 - The article titled "Reusing masks may increase your risk of coronavirus infection, expert says" was retracted for the following reasons: Misinformation: The article claimed that wearing masks can increase the risk of contracting the virus. This goes against the current consensus and guidance provided by health organizations around the world, which suggest that masks can provide a level of protection, especially in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Contradictory Statements: The article quotes Dr. Jenny Harries saying that the virus can get trapped in the material of the mask and cause infection when breathed in. However, later in the article, it mentions that masks prevent infections transmitted by respiratory droplets when used properly. These contradictory statements can confuse readers and spread misinformation. Outdated Information: The data regarding the global toll of the virus is outdated, which can mislead readers about the current status of the pandemic. Generalization: The article's tone suggests that the general public should avoid using masks altogether, which is a misleading generalization. The correct guidance is that certain types of masks should be reserved for healthcare workers, and the general public can use cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus. Lack of Comprehensive Guidance: The article focused heavily on the potential negatives of mask usage without emphasizing the importance of proper mask usage, maintenance, and hygiene. Potential for Public Panic: By suggesting that wearing masks can increase the risk of contracting the virus, the article could induce panic and fear among readers, leading to further confusion and misinformed actions.


  1. Steve Orleski Steve Orleski United States says:

    Masks are recommended for those showing symptoms of a disease, if they are sick, or they have tested positive for COVID-19 since these are designed to prevent the virus from coming out.  

    so these masks are designed for work sites with heavy dust, to keep the dust out, I do not think they were designed to keep things in..

  2. Jane Pristles Jane Pristles Canada says:

    This was written in March, I get it. But it's ranking highly on Google. It's the most severely knock-kneed "news" advice on the matter. Masks work. Asian cities with high density have single digit fatalities. Why? Everyone wears masks. Austria dropped its daily new cases by 90% when they mandated masks. Let the CDC and FDA in the US keep dithering about masks. They work, plain and simple.

  3. Liv L Liv L United States says:

    Why was the title of this article renamed?? From "Wearing masks may increase your risk of coronavirus infection" to "Reusing masks may increase your risk of coronavirus infection"? When the article clearly states all mask are bad.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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