Odessa doctor dispels myths about masks

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 3:03 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - From viral social media posts to city council meetings across the country, claims about what masks can and can't do are swirling. We decided to speak with Doctor Rohith Saravanan of Odessa Regional Medical Center about how much truth there is to these claims.

One concern: bacterial or fungal infections.

Doctor Saravanan says that if you use a mask properly, this is not a concern.

"Masks are meant to be used on a day to day basis, so if you're going to reuse a mask, you would only reuse if it wasn't wet, if it wasn't soiled, if it wasn't torn."

Another claim that has been repeated is that people who wear masks breathe in their carbon monoxide and could pass out. Doctor Saravanan says this is not the case.

"That's not true as well, if it were your surgeons that are in the operating room having masks on for surgeries that could last five or six hours would all be passing out, that's not what happens."

Masks are specifically made to let air in and out.

That brings us to the claim that masks can't protect you from a virus "that small."

"Somebody today said 'The virus is tiny and will go right through the mask', absolutely right, if the virus could float around in mid-air it would go right through the mask and won't stop it because the holes in the mask are too big and the virus would pass through, but that's not how the virus travels, the virus travels in droplets, the droplets are too big to go through the mask, that's why masks work."

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