Coronavirus and facemasks: What is the latest health advice?

One article in a Nigerian newspaper suggested that prolonged use of face masks causes hypoxia – a condition where the tissues of the body are starved of oxygen.Another graphic spread across Europe on Facebook, arguing that that prolonged mask usage can cause hypercapnia – another condition arising from too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood.”A build-up of CO2 is one of the aspects of wearing a mask that many people find a little uncomfortable, but it is unlikely that wearing a home-made or regular surgical mask will cause hypercapnia,” said a spokesperson.”It is possible that mask use, with unclear benefits, could create a false sense of security in the wearer, leading to the diminished practice of recognised beneficial preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.” Other concerns online have focused on the question of wearing a mask during exercise, but medical experts say cloth masks are more recommended for this use.In April, the British Medical Journal also wrote that masks “could have a substantial impact on transmission, with a relatively small impact on social and economic life”.”The political positioning in Europe is moving towards making covering your face and mouth mandatory – particularly on public transport and in crowded places.” “It seems governments are also advising us to wear face masks; not just because they might protect our health but also because they’ve concluded it will make us feel safer as we try to get back to a sense of normality.”

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