Stars wear masks amid coronavirus warnings — but experts say most don’t need them

(NEW YORK) — Famous stars are showing off the way they are protecting themselves while traveling amid warnings and public speculation regarding coronavirus.A day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans to prepare for a “significant disruption” from the virus, celebrities including Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow showed off on social media the face masks they sported while traveling.Many similar images have circulated across the Internet lately, with public concern over coronavirus increasing daily.At a news conference Tuesday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, “Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country.”Many followers took to the comments on Hudson’s post to question whether or not these masks are effective.Paltrow used a somewhat less serious tone in her caption, referencing her role in 2011 movie, “Contagion” in the caption.”En route to Paris. Paranoid? Prudent? Panicked? Placid? Pandemic? Propaganda? Paltrow’s just going to go ahead and sleep with this thing on the plane. I’ve already been in this movie. Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hands frequently. ?” she wrote.Experts told Dr. John Smith of the ABC News Medical Unit that wearing masks are not necessarily beneficial to many.”There isn’t a lot of data to support if there is any benefit to wearing a mask in the public setting. It is currently unclear,” Dr. Jonathan Grein, a board-certified infectious disease physician and director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told ABC News.The masks might even bring about negative effects.”The mask itself can become contaminated and serve as a source of infection, actually doing more harm than good,” Dr. Jonathan Grein added. “If wearing a mask, I caution touching it.”The CDC also doesn’t recommend to the general public using facemasks as a method of protection from coronavirus or other respiratory illnesses.”You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it,” the CDC said. “A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.”Health care professionals treating and dealing regularly with those affected must wear protective masks, specifically N95 medical respirator masks.Dr. Henry Wu, assistant professor of infectious disease at the Emory University School of Medicine and former medical epidemiologist at the CDC, told ABC News, “Masks are not recommended for general protection if you are not ill.”ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton advised following “basic common sense precautions” for protection.”Apply hand hygiene — washing your hands regularly with soap and water. If that’s not available, an alcohol based hand sanitizer, avoiding touching your mouth or face, avoiding contact with people who are known to be ill, staying home, if possible, if you’re sick,” she said. “And when you talk about infectious diseases for which we do have a vaccine, like influenza, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.”Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of CDC, appeared on “Good Morning America” Wednesday to discuss the outbreak and ways in which to protect oneself.”This is a respiratory virus and we think it’s spread through respiratory droplets — coughs and sneezes and so forth — so those sensible measures we talk about every year with the flu are important steps that you can take.””Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze,” she shared. “Stay home when you’re sick, and wash your hands. It’s a great reminder that washing your hands is a good prevention step for respiratory viruses. “Recommendations, information and more health guidelines surrounding coronarvius can be found here.President Donald Trump is planning a news conference at the White House with Centers for Disease Control representatives at 6 p.m. Wednesday.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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