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UAB experiment shows consequences of not properly wearing a mask in public

Birmingham, Ala. – COVID-19 cases in Alabama are on a steady decline, which most leaders attribute to the mandatory mask order put in place by Governor Kay Ivey. But what about the people who leave their nose and mouth exposed when wearing a mask?

Many doctors and health experts agree that properly wearing a mask is directly related to an individual's chance of spreading the virus. WBRC news reports that a new experiment from Dr. Yeon Cho, an associate professor of ENT at UAB, showed that even a momentary lapse of not covering one's nose with a face covering could put individuals and their family members at increased risk of getting the virus.

His experiment showed that droplets will spread in the absence of a covering. “When you are actually covering your mouth and nose at the same time, there was no growth in your plate,” Dr. Cho said.

Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Health Department agrees that correctly wearing a mask is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. “Let’s say it’s in the winter. You can see your breath in very cold air. What you are seeing is the liquid that you normally breathe out,” Willeford said in the WBRC report. “Things you don’t want to do. You don’t want to see it worn down here. Someone putting it above their head. Let it dangle off the ear,” Willeford said.

Dr. Cho also urged citizens to change their masks on a regular basis. “Whenever you sneeze or are coughing more, you have to change your mask more frequently because based on this finding, the mask is really dirty,” Cho said.

Most people in medical community believe a mask can stop about 90 percent of the disease.

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