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Infectious diseases doctor urges Melburnians to wear masks (but they shouldn’t be N95)

3AW Breakfast

An infectious diseases expert says Melburnians should wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 when they cannot maintain physical distancing, but she says there is no need to seek out N95 masks.

Infectious disease physician from Marie Bashir Institute for Emerging Infections and Biosecurity, Professor Lyn Gilbert, says masks are “a good idea” with Melbourne’s current coronavirus infection rate.

“This is something that the committee I chair, which provides infection control advice to the AHPPC, has recommended all along,” she told Kate and Quarters, filling in for Ross and John.

Professor Gilbert recommended mask-wearing in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport, but cautioned against choosing N95 masks.

“We don’t recommend the use of N95 masks outside of particular situations, outside of hospitals,” she said.

“N95 masks are difficult to fit and uncomfortable to wear.

“Unless they’re properly fitted they’re no more effective, in fact possibly less effective, than a conventional surgical or even cloth mask.”

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