Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.
In discussing the recent outbreak, Dr. Pate explains that we must “keep in mind how small the virus actually is.” The virus has been found at sizes less than 1000 nanometers – about 1/10th the side of a red blood cell. She remarks that “many of the masks on the market – which are commonly used improperly – can’t prevent something so small from entering our bodies.” While many doctors recommend using masks to prevent yourself from spreading a virus to others, most masks cannot actually prevent transmission. “The best defensive strategy is proper hand-washing” and avoiding “touching your eyes, nose and mouth,” since the virus can easily be transmitted through your face. On a similar vein, gloves cannot repel the virus. They pick up germs just as your hands do, making them a second skin that would require washing just as normal hands do. If you are in direct contact with someone (blood, body fluids, etc.) then both a mask and gloves may be beneficial to contain the spread, but otherwise, both items have limited effect on the spread of Coronavirus.
Worried that you may have COVID-19? Talk to your doctor to see if you should schedule a COVID-19 Lab Test at a lab near you.