Don’t wear a mask if you’re not sick, medical experts say


Pedestrians wear protective masks as they walk through a shopping district in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. Japan’s government said Thursday a man treated for pneumonia after returning from China has tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said if you’re not sick, you shouldn’t wear protective masks.

“A mask is actually for an individual who presents with the symptoms in order to reduce transmitting those particles and the health care workers taking care of the patient at the time,” Dr. Louis R. Minsky with Baton Rouge General said.

Dr. Minsky added people who aren’t sick typically take off the mask to talk to people, defeating the purpose.

Dr. Frank Welch, the Medical Director for Community Preparedness for Louisiana said, “We’ve been told to prepare for when it occurs, not just if it occurs.”

Dr. Welch explained the state has been getting ready for something like the Coronavirus for 20 years. He said the symptoms of the virus called COVID-19 are very similar to the flu. Dr. Welch added the state was sent a faulty test to detect the virus. It was sent back, but there’s no concern about a backlog of testing at the CDC.

“The best thing people can do, given that it really is a bad cold for most people, is stay home and stay away from other people,” Dr. Welch said.

Dr. Minsky agreed, “We really ought to think about the things that we can easily do and that we can do well.”

Both doctors said washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and doing the classic vampire sneeze are ways to prevent spreading both the Coronavirus and the Flu.

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