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WHO warns against using masks during exercise

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned people against wearing masks while exercising, saying masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably.

WHO gave the warning on Wednesday in an update of its Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters.

It said that sweat could make the mask become wet more quickly which made it difficult to breathe and would promote the growth of microorganisms.

“The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one metre from others,” it said.

The health agency said that the prolonged use of medical masks when properly worn, did not cause Carbon dioxide (CO2) intoxication nor oxygen deficiency. It, however, noted that the prolonged use of medical masks could be uncomfortable.

“While wearing a medical mask, make sure it fits properly and that it is tight enough to allow you to breathe normally.

“Do not re-use a disposable mask and always change it as soon as it gets damp.

“Medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are flat or pleated; they are affixed to the head with straps or have ear loops,” it said.

It maintained that the likelihood of COVID-19 being spread on shoes and infecting individuals was very low.

“As a precautionary measure, particularly in homes where infants and small children crawl or play on floors, consider leaving your shoes at the entrance of your home.

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“This will help prevent contact with dirt or any waste that could be carried on the soles of shoes,” it said.

According to WHO, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus not by bacteria.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is in a family of viruses called Coronaviridae. Antibiotics do not work against viruses. Some people who become ill with COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. In this case, antibiotics may be recommended by a health care provider,” it said.

WHO noted that currently there was no licensed medication to cure COVID-19. It advised people that have symptoms of the disease to call their health care provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance.

WHO added that most people who contracted the COVID-19 had mild or moderate symptoms and recovered due to supportive care.

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