It turns out that face masks are petri dishes for pathogens to fester and multiply, whether they be the Fauci Flu, the common cold, or a fungal infection. If it causes illness, it will find a home in the mesh of a face mask, the study found.
"Since masks can be a direct source of infection to the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and skin, it is crucial to maintain their hygiene to prevent bacterial and fungal infections that can exacerbate COVID-19," the authors gently wrote.
One of the first studies to address the hygiene issues associated with wearing a mask, the paper looked at 109 participants between the ages of 21 and 22 who wore a mask between September and October of 2020, the height of the plandemic.
Each participant was asked about the type of mask used, as well as how long, on average, it was worn. Researchers then collected bacteria and fungi from the three types of masks identified: gauze, polyurethane (plastic), and non-woven.
What they discovered is that bacteria tended to fester inside the masks where they are closest to the face while the outside of the masks tended to harbor more fungi. (Related: Dozens of scientific studies show that face masks increase the risk of disease and death.)
The longer a mask is worn, the researchers further discovered, the more that bacteria and fungi multiply.
"[F]ungi and their spores are resistant to drying," the paper explains. "[T]hey can survive under the condition where masks dry out."
The worst offenders were the plastic and gauze masks, which were found to contain far more fungal colony counts than the non-woven mask type, which have three layers: two layers of fabric sandwiching a non-woven middle layer filter.
Washable and reusable masks were no better, the researchers also discovered, much to their surprise.
"The proper cleaning method for cotton face masks has been recommended to reduce the microbial load on the masks," they wrote.
"However, in the current experiments, we did not find significant differences in bacterial or fungal colony numbers on the masks based on washing."
Regardless of which type of mask a person uses, what he or she does every day, the duration and mode of travel to and from work and other places, etc., the risk of being exposed to dangerous pathogens is pretty much the same.
"We found no differences in the bacterial or fungal colony counts on both sides of the masks among the three transportation systems," the authors explained after looking at masks through the lens of public transportation, personal vehicle use and walking or biking.
Even if a person gargles once and day and takes other attempted protective measures to keep a mask clean, it will still accumulate bacteria and fungi just the same, the paper further reveals.
While some of the bacteria and fungi identified are generally harmless, others are linked to food poisoning symptoms and staph infections. In the case of fungi, those that build up on masks are linked to things like ringworm, athlete's foot and jock itch.
In their conclusion, the authors wrote that people should "avoid repeated use of masks to prevent microbial infection," especially if they have a weakened immune system.
"To date, the evidence has been stable and clear that masks do not work to control the virus and they can be harmful and especially to children," says Dr. Paul Alexander, an epidemiologist and researcher.
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