Importance of face masks for COVID-19: A call for effective public education

Ricky Van Yip TSO, Benjamin J. COWLING

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Considerable debates about the general community use of face masks for protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) stemmed out from differing views taken by health authorities. Misconceptions and stigmatization towards the use of face masks may hinder the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. We address this previous debate by analyzing the advice on the community use of masks across different credible health authorities: countries that promoted the use of masks acknowledged that masks are effective but also explained the importance of their proper use along with other hygiene measures. In contrast, authorities that recommended against the community use of masks mainly cited shortage of supplies, the argument that the public do not have the adequate skills to wear them, or that wearing masks might reduce compliance with other important behaviors. We suggest promoting effective behavioral changes in personal protective measures by teaching microbiological knowledge instead of just listing out the “do’s-and-don’ts.” Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2195-2198
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume71
Issue number16
Early online date02 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020

Citation

Tso, R. V., & Cowling, B. J. (2020). Importance of face masks for COVID-19: A call for effective public education. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 71(16), 2195-2198. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa593

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Face masks
  • Misconception
  • Public health
  • Effective education

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