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"How to prevent coronavirus: wash your hands and ditch the mask"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an adjunct professor with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, for a story about best practices for avoiding infection, including regular hand-washing with warm water and soap.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Drugstores have reported skyrocketing demand, and several of Amazon’s top sellers are indefinitely out of stock. Shortages of surgical face masks are a visible sign that the novel coronavirus from China has reached the United States.

But health experts warn that stocking up on the disposable masks could do more harm than good by limiting their availability to doctors and nurses. If the coronavirus outbreak should cause a run on anything, they say, it should be soap and water instead.

“Fear spreads a lot faster than the virus,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an infectious disease expert at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. “A mask makes you feel better, but you’re missing the more important protective measures.”