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This is the biggest mistake people make when wearing a face mask

Cover your nose.

Perhaps the biggest mistake many people make with face masks – other than not wearing them in public at all – is pulling the face covers so that the nose is exposed.

Amid the ongoing debate about when and where people should wear masks, and the mixed messages behind them, what may have been lost in the noise is the right way to put on a mask to help spread the COVID-19 in the in the first place to help prevent.

The CDC guidelines call for a mask to cover both your nose and your mouth, with the mask under your chin. It should fit your face well. There should be no large gaps or openings around your nose, mouth, and the sides of your face.

But now that summer temperatures have scorched the U.S. – and let’s face it, there has been some social distance fatigue as the pandemic continues – health officials have had to remind people that pulling their masks under their noses or their chins is basically the mask disable.

That’s because you can still inhale the virus through your nose, or exhale viral particles and spread them through your nose to other people, even if you don’t feel sick. In fact, a recent study of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – infects the cells in your nose much more easily than the cells in your throat or lungs. Once the virus has settled in your nose, it can then be drawn into your lungs and cause more serious problems.

In addition, the study suggests that people are likely to release a higher concentration of the COVID-19 virus when they breathe out of their nose, rather than out of their mouth.

“If the nose is the dominant site from which lung infections are spread, then the widespread use of masks to protect the nasal passages, as well as any therapeutic strategies that reduce the virus in the nose, such as nasal irrigation or antiviral nasal sprays, could be helpful , “Said co-senior author Dr. Richard Boucher in a statement.

Wearing masks “is really two-fold,” he explained the News & Observer. “You protect yourself, and you protect someone else from transmitting something in an asymptomatic phase.”

But you have to wear the mask well.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently took on sloppy mask behavior while warning protesters and police to wear the coverings correctly last month.

“This is a mask,” he said, pulling one up to cover his nose, mouth, and chin.

Then he pulled it down under his chin. “This is a chin guard,” he said, noting that wearing a mask in this way “does nothing.”

“Nobody told you to wear a chin guard. Wear a mask, ”he said.

More than 4 million Americans tested positive for COVID-19, and 143,967 died on Friday morning. Dr. Anthony Fauci says, “I certainly don’t think we are nearly there” in a new interview with MarketWatch. President Donald Trump has also sometimes set a more somber tone about the pandemic that has infected more than 15.3 million worldwide – and even called on Americans to wear masks this week.

“Nobody told you to wear a chin guard. Wear a mask. ”

– Government Andrew Cuomo

But individuals can make a big impact in fighting this global crisis by taking three simple steps: washing their hands regularly, keeping their distance from other people – and wearing masks. That is according to a study from the Netherlands that was published Tuesday. “A major epidemic can be prevented if the effectiveness of these measures exceeds 50%,” the researchers wrote. In other words, “SARS-CoV-2 will not cause a major outbreak in a country where 90% of the population take 25% effective hand washing and social distance (ie reduce sensitivity and contact rate by 25% respectively). “

Indeed, according to April and mid-May, according to the government, at least 230,000 cases of the coronavirus have occurred in April, according to government orders in 15 states and the District of Columbia. a recent study by two professors from the University of Iowa. Another study suggests that nearly 45,000 U.S. deaths from coronavirus could be prevented by November if 95% of the population wore masks.

Read more:As coronavirus cases increase, California is the latest state to require face masks – why other states may want to follow suit

But gender, political affiliation, race, income and geography all seem to play a role when it comes to whether individuals choose to wear a mask or not.

There are also many myths and misconceptions about masks, such as that people only have to wear one when they show symptoms, or that wearing a mask lowers your oxygen levels. Neither is true.

Read more:Here are the 5 biggest mask myths

In addition to ensuring that your mask covers your nose and mouth, make sure it is two or three-layered, which is best to prevent viral drops from spreading from your nose and mouth. A observation study published in the medical journal Thorax on Thursday found that a two-layer layered cover reduced the number of drops that spread through coughing and sneezing better than a single layer of dust. A three-layer surgical mask was most effective. Yet even one layer is better than nothing.

Related:After watching surgeon general’s Twitter video on face masks, the doctor sent him research on the best materials to use

And while you remain vigilant about washing your hands, don’t forget to wash your reusable face masks every day. You should also keep them in a paper bag or a resealable plastic bag to prevent them from becoming infected, rather than throwing them on your dresser or in your car. Here is the best way to clean your face mask.

Follow more of MarketWatch’s corona virus coverage here.