With the omicron variant continuing to surge, is it time your upgrade your mask?

Experts say the N95 and KN95 masks are the better options but between the two there’s a big difference in regulation that can make it difficult to spot a counterfeit.

“Up to 60 percent of KN95 masks circulating in the United States are fakes,” said Infection Preventionist Dr. Shanina Knighton.

And with so many of the masks on the market, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning about the red flags to watch out for.

“The N95 mask is approved and regulated in the United States by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and health. The KN95 which is developed in China yet the United States does not have a regulatory body that can readily I would say guarantee those masks,” said Dr. Knighton.

According to the CDC, these are just some of the signs of a potential fake Nn95 mask including spelling errors, decorations, no “NIOSH” markings on the mask and earloops to secure the mask to your face instead of bands that wrap around your head.

The increase in counterfeit masks makes it difficult for legitimate companies to sell their products.

RB Medical Supply in Ohio is in the process to get NIOSH approval for N95 masks they plan to manufacture and sell.

When in doubt about how to spot a counterfeit mask, check the source,” said RB Medical Supply President Justin Bloyd.

You can also go to the CDC’s website and verify the legitimacy of your mask.