Coronavirus
Coronavirus Information Center
Severe weather outlook South Dakota

No, you won’t get pneumonia from normal face mask use

National News

FILE – In this Thursday, March 19, 2020 file photo, a mask lies on a lawn in Willowbrook, Ill. On Friday, June 26, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that wearing face masks can cause fungal and bacterial pneumonia. There’s no evidence that normal use of face masks can cause fungal or bacterial infections. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

There’s no evidence that normal use of face masks can cause fungal or bacterial infections, despite a Florida congressional candidate’s Twitter claim that wearing face masks could lead to pneumonia.

“Excessive use of face masks causes fungal and bacterial pneumonia,” wrote Jessi Melton, a conservative business owner who is running to represent Florida’s 22nd Congressional District.

The false post had over 16,000 retweets as of Wednesday.

Davidson Hamer, an infectious disease specialist at Boston University, said he was unaware of any harm that comes from wearing masks besides discomfort.

“There’s no evidence of masks leading to fungal or bacterial infections of the upper airway or the lower airway as in pneumonia,” said Hamer, who is also a professor of global health and medicine at the university.

Hamer noted that bacterial growth could occur, in theory, if someone wore a mask that was already contaminated with moisture and became moldy.

“Theoretically, it could happen, but it’s highly unlikely with just typical mask use,” he said in a phone call with the AP. However, he added, paper masks that become visibly wet should be discarded.

Anne Monroe, an internal medicine physician and epidemiologist at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, agreed: “There’s no evidence to back up this claim. Digging into it a little bit more, in terms of mask use, it is important to follow general sanitation guidelines.”

She said it’s important that disposable masks be discarded and cloth masks be washed. “The idea that contamination could cause fungal pneumonia is not a valid conclusion,” she said.

Monroe agreed with Hamer that it’s “potentially theoretical,” but that it has not been documented. The real danger, Hamer said, is “spreading incorrect information like this, especially at a time when we really need to be encouraging more people to wear masks.”

The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 Friday — eclipsing the mark set during one of the deadliest stretches in late April.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Stories

More Local News

Recent Videos

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Hitting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hitting"

DJGA Golf

Thumbnail for the video titled "DJGA Golf"

Mandan Flickertails

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mandan Flickertails"

Anamoose Clean Up

Thumbnail for the video titled "Anamoose Clean Up"

Gift to MSU

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gift to MSU"

Legacy Fund

Thumbnail for the video titled "Legacy Fund"

Amber's Wednesday Morning #OneMinuteForecast 7/8

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber's Wednesday Morning #OneMinuteForecast 7/8"

Wednesday's Forecast: Sunny & cooler

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wednesday's Forecast: Sunny & cooler"

NDC JULY 8

Thumbnail for the video titled "NDC JULY 8"

Life Hacks: Water Bottles

Thumbnail for the video titled "Life Hacks: Water Bottles"

DJGA Golf

Thumbnail for the video titled "DJGA Golf"

Northwoods League

Thumbnail for the video titled "Northwoods League"

Babe Ruth Baseball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Babe Ruth Baseball"

Oil Production

Thumbnail for the video titled "Oil Production"

Lower emissions standards hurting ethanol industry

Thumbnail for the video titled "Lower emissions standards hurting ethanol industry"

Downtown Block Party, Putt District

Thumbnail for the video titled "Downtown Block Party, Putt District"

Badlands Big Sticks

Thumbnail for the video titled "Badlands Big Sticks"

Souris Valley Sabre Dogs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Souris Valley Sabre Dogs"

Key West Cafe

Thumbnail for the video titled "Key West Cafe"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

COVID Symptoms infographic

North Dakota Resources

North Dakota Resources

More Resources

Don't Miss