Are there black worms in surgical masks? No, those are fibers.

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A video that claims the presence of worms inside industry-manufactured surgical masks is going viral on social media.

Claims: The video has two different clips in it. In the first clip, a man is burning bunches of surgical masks and claiming thin, black worms are present in them. He appeals to people around him to try an experiment and put a surgical mask on a mug of hot water to see these worms for themselves. The man then claims that when we breathe hot air wearing a surgical mask, these worms enter our respiratory system. He also says that this is the reason why Coronavirus is spreading so rapidly.

In the second clip, a man conducts the said experiment. He zooms in on the mask and shows it to the viewer. According to him, the worms are only visible after zooming on them using a device camera and not with naked eyes.

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The same video has been circulating on social media for a couple months.

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The claim is false and the worm-like creatures visible in the video are not worms.

Interestingly enough, they are small, black micro-fibres that may have entered the masks during the manufacturing or the handling process.

However, these fibers seem to be moving, which was the major reason for panic. Hence, we researched and found this video on Youtube posted by a channel named SlivkiShow EN who posts experimental videos. With an experiment, the video explains that moisture from the hot water or static energy when the camera is brought closer to the mask, makes these non-living fibres move.

 

The healthcare bodies have recommended wearing masks right from the beginning of the pandemic. With the beginning of the second wave and now to avoid the third wave, World Health Organization has started recommending double-masking. WHO’s guidelines on wearing masks are available here. Similarly, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also recommended wearing masks all the time.

Many fact-checkers like Webqoof, Alt News, The Logical Indian and so on have debunked this viral video over the last couple of months.

Mansi Verma
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Mansi Verma

A student of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune, Mansi is open to learning new things while exploring the road to unbiased, fact-oriented journalism.