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Fact Check: Fake online post misrepresents how to wear a surgical mask

  • By Vishvas News
  • Updated: April 22, 2020

A viral post shared on social media gives instructions on how to wear a surgical mask. The post shows two pictures of how to wear medical masks. It explains that you should wear the colored side of the mask on the outside when you are sick and the white side on the outside when you are healthy.  Vishvas News investigated and found that this is fake. It could leave you with the wrong instructions for wearing a medical mask.

Claim

The viral post shared on Facebook reads: “The proper way of wearing face masks: If we have flu, the white side should be our face (the colour side faces out) to filter the microorganism for spreading to others. If we are not ill, the white side should face out to protect microorganism from outside to have contact with us.” The archived version of the post can be checked here.

Investigation

Vishvas News visited the website of PRI-MED, the global manufacturer of medical products. In its page, ‘Mask Protection Standards & Medical Face Mask Information For Use‘ it was mentioned that the white (or smoothest side) is on the inside against the wearer’s skin—the colour always faces out in order to ensure the proper fit of the mask.

Nowhere has been mentioned that you should wear the colored side of the mask on the outside when you are sick and the white side on the outside when you are healthy. 

The Center for Health Protection also advices people that the coloured side/the side with folds facing downwards of the surgical mask should face outwards with the metallic strip uppermost. This is the right way to wear a mask.

While the viral post suggests that the white side of the mask should be facing to your face if you have flu as it filters the microorganisms. Though the face cover protects from microorganisms to some extent, but the instructions on how to wear surgical masks if you are ill/healthy holds untrue.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s website also said in its report that the colored side of the mask is usually the front and should face away from you, while the white side touches your face, this is how a mask is worn.

Dr. Seto Wing Hong, the co-director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control and a professor at the University of Hong Kong, demonstrated the proper use of face mask on Youtube. As per Dr. Seto, the coloured part of the mask is worn on the outside. This is because it is waterproof and prevents moisture from entering. Whereas the white side of the mask is absorbent and prevents germs from being released to the atmosphere, therefore it should be worn on inside. 

We also spoke to Devesh Sachdeva of Medilife India which is a
Pharmaceutical Manufacturer. “The colored side of the mask should face outwards and the white side of the mask should face inwards. This applies to everybody who wear the mask. Not only to ill or healthy people. The claim in the viral post seems untrue.”

Disclaimer: The #CoronavirusFacts database records fact-checks published since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its consequences are constantly evolving and data that was accurate weeks or even days ago might have changed. Remember to check the date when the fact-check you are reading was published before sharing it.

Conclusion: The online post misrepresents how to wear a surgical mask. The post claiming you should wear the colored side of the mask on the outside when you are sick and the white side on the outside when you are healthy is fake.

  • Claim Review : You should wear the colored side of the mask on the outside when you are sick and the white side on the outside when you are healthy.
  • Claimed By : FB user: Mario Cortes Trinidad
  • Fact Check : False
False
    Symbols that define nature of fake news
  • True
  • Misleading
  • False

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