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US Fact check: CDC report doesn't show mask-wearers are more likely to contract COVID-19

08:10  16 october  2020
08:10  16 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Fact check :What's true and what's false about coronavirus? Are cloth face coverings effective? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that COVID - 19 spreads mainly through respiratory droplets when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks, making cloth masks an effective

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The claim: CDC report shows mask-wearers are more likely to contract COVID-19.

a sign in front of a tall building in a city: In this file photo taken on April 24, 2020, shows the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. © TAMI CHAPPELL, AFP via Getty Images In this file photo taken on April 24, 2020, shows the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

It's been over six months since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans wear face masks in public spaces to combat the spread of COVID-19.

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A new study released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the findings of a new study, in which the overwhelming number of new coronavirus cases This more than proves that face masks are ineffective at stopping COVID - 19 , so why does the CDC still recommend them?

Note: The CDC now recommends everyone wear masks in public to reduce asymptomatic transmission of COVID - 19 . Since initial publication in February, new Experts, including the CDC , continue to state that the evidence does not show that wearing a mask will protect the wearer , but everyone wearing

But some internet users continue to question the effectiveness of covering their faces.

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Posts on Facebook, for example, use a chart from the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report to state that masks actually raise the risk of contracting COVID-19. One data point — that 70.6% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had self-reported that they "always" wore masks — is highlighted.

"This evidence suggests that masks actually help to infect the people who wear them," a post reads.

Another post claims that the data proves that "people who wear masks, are actually 'collecting' the virus in their masks. The airborne particles are being absorbed into the Masks and staying on our faces rather than dissipating."

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The guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) for face coverings initially did not have any citations for studies of cloth material Data lacking to recommend broad mask use. We do not recommend requiring the general public who do not have symptoms of COVID - 19 -like

The users behind the posts — both of which were shared thousands of times — did not respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.

More: Fact check: What's true and what's false about coronavirus?

Report shows that mask-wearing helps stave off the virus and slow the spread

The chart in the posts is legitimate, and comes from the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Sept. 11. But the chart and report both support a very different conclusion from the posts on Facebook.

The report analyzed the characteristics of 314 symptomatic adults who received positive and negative SARS-CoV-2 test results between July 1-29.

Of those 314 patients, 154 tested positive, referred to in the chart as "case patients." Another 160 tested negative, referred to in the chart as "control patients."

It's true, as the post claims, that 70.6% of the "case patients" self-reported always wearing masks. But an even higher percentage of the "control patients" who did not contract the virus self-reported always wearing masks, at 74.2%, which suggests that their mask-wearing may have helped stave off the virus.

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The weekly COVID - 19 -associated hospitalization rate reported through Peak COVID - 19 activity and trends have varied regionally with three general patterns Differences in the data presented here by CDC and independently by some state health departments likely represent differing levels of data

Many regions that have successfully controlled the incidence rate of COVID infections have entrenched cultures of wearing masks , perhaps with We recognize and support the CDC , WHO and other key institutional leaders that are heroically leading the charge against COVID - 19 and invite all

Another reason both percentages are so high is because the majority of study participants — 226 of 314 patients, or 72% — reported they "always" wore masks. Their widespread use makes it difficult to detect their effect.

On the flip side, just 11 patients in the study reported that they "never" wore masks. So the percentage of individuals who tested positive and never wore masks was guaranteed to be low — it was 3.9%, compared 3.1% of individuals who tested negative.

Close contacts, public activities

The report found that close contact with individuals with known COVID-19 was a major risk factor. Over 40% of "case patients" who tested positive had close contact with an infected individual, compared to just 14% of "control patients."

Given that statistic, the report recommends that anyone who is in close contact with infected persons take "additional prevention measures" to reduce transmission, such as "wearing gloves, and wearing masks."

The report also found that participating in public activities that preclude mask use — like eating or drinking — is a risk factor, further supporting the importance of masks.

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Instead, COVID - 19 is most likely transmitted via droplets, which are often spread on surfaces and people's hands. Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS ! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’ t get them to care for sick

"Exposures and activities where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to locations that offer on-site eating and drinking, might be important risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection," it reads.

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Do masks collect particles or worsen the risk of contracting COVID?

There is nothing in the report to back the claim that masks collect virus particles or make patients more likely to contract COVID-19.

Wesley Self, one of the study’s lead authors and a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, wrote in an email to Health Feedback that “We are not aware of any of our data showing that wearing a mask increases the risk for COVID-19.”

Ben Neuman, a virologist at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, evaluated one of the posts and the report for PolitiFact, and concluded there was "nothing in this (report) that indicates that mask wearing is associated with more coronavirus."

"Honestly, I don’t even know how that could be possible," he said.

In reality, numerous studies have found that mask-wearing slows the spread of the coronavirus.

That's because COVID-19 mostly spreads through respiratory droplets. Masks provide a simple barrier to prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto others when an infected individual coughs, sneezes or talks, per the CDC.

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Masks are most effective if they are widely used in public settings.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, the claim that a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that mask-wearers are more likely to contract COVID-19 is FALSE. The report actually supports the efficacy of masks in slowing the spread of coronavirus. Numerous other studies also confirm that conclusion.

Our fact-check sources:

  • USA TODAY, April 3, Trump: CDC recommends voluntary use of face masks for public to stem spread of coronavirus
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept. 11, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
  • Health Feedback, Mask use does not lead to a higher risk of COVID-19 as viral social media posts claim
  • Politifact, Oct. 13, No, masks don't collect the coronavirus
  • Wall Street Journal, Aug. 13, Face Masks Really Do Matter. The Scientific Evidence Is Growing.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aug. 7, Considerations for Wearing Masks

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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: CDC report doesn't show mask-wearers are more likely to contract COVID-19

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usr: 10
This is interesting!