Change that mask frequently.
2023-05-05. Emphasis added.
Twenty five of the 52 used masks tested positive for fungal contamination (48,08%). A total of 44% of the contaminated masks belong to health workers between the ages of 21–30 years. Surgical masks (80%), KN95 (8%), and N95 (4%) were the most contaminated protective devices. Usage duration of 1–2 h was associated with 4% of fungal contamination, while a usage duration of 5–6 h was associated with 36% of fungal contamination. Alternaria sp (32%), Penicillium sp (20%), Aspergillus sp (16%) were the most predominant isolated fungi discovered on the inside areas of the masks.
Because fungi are known to cause allergies and serious adverse health effects following recommendations to properly wear a medical mask is critical to preventing fungal contamination, especially among health care workers who are wearing the same mask for a long period during the pandemic.
In this study on fungal masks contamination, a wide variety of fungi were recovered. Wearing a mask for extended periods, especially on hot, humid summer days, can thus promote fungal contamination. The interesting findings in our study probably could be explained by the fact that wearing the same facemask for an extended period may promote fungal overgrowth. The establishment and implementation of health and safety standards, as well as monitoring of the work environment, should be considered.
WIND: mask up, all ye virtue signalers.