Bacterial and Fungal Isolation from Face Masks: Newly Emerged Hygiene Issues Under COVID-19 Pandemic

This study reports on the potential hygiene issues due to bacteria and fungi attached to the face masks in over 109 participants. Results demonstrated a longer mask usage significantly increased the fungal colony counts, and identified both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes. The findings suggest that mask wearers, especially compromised hosts, should avoid repeated use of masks to prevent microbial infection.  Note: This is a preprint article not yet peer reviewed.

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