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Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 04:10 pm

Just as we all wrap our heads and face masks around protecting ourselves from COVID-19 and preventing infection by masking up and frequently sanitizing. The new variant of COVID-19 has us all in a tailspin. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US and chief medical advisor to the US president, supports suggestions that wearing two masks at once may be a better way to prevent the new COVID variant than wearing just one. 

READ MORE: New Covid variant: Can I be reinfected?

What doubling up on masks means

Since March last year, South Africans have struggled and even become accustomed to wearing a three-layered mask whenever we are out in public. 

Although this has become difficult in the hot summer months, it seems to breathe may become a little harder. 

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The theory that wearing two masks may provide better protection supported by Dr Fauchi means South Africans may have to wear a 6 layer mask in an attempt to ensure their health.

“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” said Dr Fauchi speaking to American news channel NBC News Today.

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Quality vs Quantity

According to health.com Wearing, two masks makes sense where the quality of the masks used may be in question. 

Most South Africans where cloth masks, many of them are made casually without much regulation or strenuous testing. For this reason, wearing more than one mask may provide more security. 

“Combining two layers of relatively inefficient material may perform better together than a single poor quality mask. In addition, wearing a relatively loose-fitting surgical or another medical type mask with a tightly fitting cloth mask over it may create a better mask,” say health.com.

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Are three masks even better?

While layering your masks reasonably creates a greater barrier between you and particles in the air you breathe; Dr Abraar Karan, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital told npr.org that better quality masks may be a better solution. Struggling to breathe may deter people from wearing masks altogether. 

Dr Karan also supported the idea of wearing a layer of nylon stocking over your cloth face mask. The nylon can be used to secure your mask further and help filter out small particles.

Sources: Health.com , Business insider , npr.org 

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.