Doctor discusses recent study that criticizes Neck Gaiters as masks


A recent study by Duke University looked at Neck Gaiters, saying it's worse than not wearing a mask at all

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Masks have started to become a normal part of our routine, but a recent study by Duke University looked at a popular kind of mask, saying it’s worse than not wearing a mask at all.

A Columbiana County doctor broke down the details.

Masks come in all different shapes and sizes, but one type of mask was given a negative review from a Duke University study released last week.

They’re called Neck Gaiters.

It’s the kind that is a piece of cloth around the neck and pulled up over the mouth and nose.

“They’ve seen that sometimes that can be a little bit worse in their study as far as the spreading of droplets. So that’s kind of what the study showed,” said Dr. Mike Sevilla from the Family Practice Center of Salem.

He noted the droplets are from breathing and the Neck Gaiter didn’t prevent the spread.

“It’s actually made bigger droplets smaller, which can hang around a little bit more, which theoretically can be more contagious,” Dr. Sevilla said.

But Dr. Sevilla says it really depends on the Neck Gaiter, echoing some reports of companies that make the Neck Gaiters, saying that some are made better than others.

Dr. Sevilla also tells his patients that he thinks they’re better than nothing.

“I tell them, ‘Hey, it’s better than no mask at all.’ There’s going to be more studies that are needed for these Neck Gaiter masks,” he said.

And as school is just around the corner, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order Thursday, saying that everyone inside needs to wear a mask, with a few exceptions like medical conditions or if someone is alone in a room.

But they also recommended to not wear a face shield as an alternative to a mask.

“The scientific data is inconclusive at this point, whether face shields alone would be protective,” Dr. Sevilla said.

It’s advised to check with your school district for any specific rules.

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