KYW Medical Report: The importance of wearing a mask

Masks Photo credit bohemama/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Wearing a mask to fight COVID-19 should not be difficult, but it has not been as easy as many thought it would be.

I have supported the use of masks from the earliest days of the pandemic. It made sense that if I needed to wear a mask on the front lines when I knew someone had COVID-19, wearing a mask would help protect me when I came across people in social settings who might have COVID-19.

In addition, there was the added benefit of reducing spread if I contracted the virus.

Several weeks later, I learned that receptors in the nose allowed for a far greater concentration of the virus to enter my body than through the mouth.

But how you wear a mask is as important as choosing to wear one.

Some people wear the mask and don't cover their nose. Covering the mouth helps others by reducing spread, but not covering the nose leaves the person wearing the mask extremely vulnerable to getting the virus.