Face masks are really important nowadays because they can protect you from other people infected with COVID-19, the virus that causes the ongoing global pandemic. However, WHO warns that the public that the face covering's efficiency can be comprised during wet weather. 

WHO Says Face Masks Are Less Effective in Wet Weather-- Change Your Covering If It Becomes Dump
(Photo : Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Groundstaff work to clear the outfield as rain delays the start of play during the T20 Vitality Blast Semi Final match between Surrey and Gloucestershire at Edgbaston on October 03, 2020 in Birmingham, England.

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The World Health Organization and other scientists claim that face masks can become less effective when worn in the rain. The agency and several experts said that people must replace their face coverings if they become wet.

WHO also urged government officials to provide the public with "clear advice" about wearing face masks when going out during rainy weather. 

"It would now be useful if clear advice were issued to the public," said Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London.

"Masks need to be changed regularly, and this is particularly important to understand in damp and wet weather," he added.

Aseem Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist, explained that face masks would surely get damp if people go out in public during bad weather. He added no public campaign currently to inform people that their masks can become ineffective during rainy days.

DHSC's official guidance

The Department of Health and Social Care's official guidance states that people should change their face mask if they've touched it or if it becomes wet.

WHO also provided similar advice, explaining that moisture can compromise the fabric face mask, even if it consists of at least three layers of different materials.

WHO Says Face Masks Are Less Effective in Wet Weather-- Change Your Covering If It Becomes Dump
(Photo : Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - OCTOBER 06: A health worker puts on a protective mask before conducting COVID-19 swab tests on public transportation drivers at a slum area on October 6, 2020 in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines remains as the country worst-hit by the pandemic in Southeast Asia, with 324,762 confirmed cases and 5,840 deaths.

The agency explained even N-95, the mask considered among some of the most effective in preventing the virus, can also be compromised. This can happen because the non-woven fabric used in the mask is not designed to repel water, which means that any moisture can restrict efficient and safe filtering.

WHO added that any masks should have appropriate use and disposal to ensure their effectiveness and avoid any increase in COVID-19 transmission. 

For more news updates about WHO and other health agencies, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes. 

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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.

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