A graphic posted on Facebook on 18 February 2021 claims that face masks can cause staphylococcus infection.
“Staphylococcus from masks,” it says. It shows five photos of people with marks and sores on their faces.
“Also serious lung infections and loss of consciousness due to restricted airflow from wearing masks.”
The graphic has been viewed more than 270,000 times so far.
Does the graphic show people who got staph infections on their faces from wearing masks? We checked.
None of pictures depicts staph infection
A reverse image search shows that none of the five photos shows a person with staph infection.
The middle right image is of a healthcare worker in Italy. It appears in a tweet showing the faces of doctors and nurses after working long shifts in intensive care, wearing personal protective equipment.
Staph infection develops from open wound
“In order to develop a staph infection, the person wearing the mask would have to have an open lesion or untreated wound on their face, but even then, it very rarely happens,” they say.
They recommend washing hands, cleaning and bandaging wounds on faces, and cleaning masks regularly to reduce the risk of staph infection.
A viral graphic does not show people who developed staph infections from wearing masks. While staph infection from masks is possible, it is very rare and requires there to already be an open wound on the face.
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