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Why health experts say masks with exhalation valves can do more harm than good

11Alive Medical Correspondent Dr. Sujutha Reddy said the CDC makes it clear on their website that these particular masks help no one but the person who's wearing it.

ATLANTA — There is one mask that's becoming popular online, but medical experts said it does more harm than good.

Masks with what's called an exhalation valve promise better comfort than traditional masks by offering an easier way to breathe.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these masks with the exhalation valves keep the person safe, but not the population.

11Alive Medical Correspondent Dr. Sujutha Reddy said the CDC makes it clear on their website that these particular masks help no one but the person who's wearing it.

"The exhalation valve or the valve that helps you breathe out sends all of your breath out into the environment," she explained.

Reddy said if you have the coronovirus, you are still potentially spewing COVID-19 droplets through the valve to others.

RELATED: Reservations, masks and more: This is how Six Flags Over Georgia is planning to reopen

Wearing the proper mask, without an exhalation valve, could keep everyone safe.

"When we talk about wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus, we're actually wearing the mask to protect other people from our droplets or germs." 

The CDC has a list of answers to frequently asked questions on its website. They also have more information about the recommendations regarding the use of face cloth coverings.

RELATED: It's official. All Virginians must wear face masks while inside public places.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.

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