A video has surfaced on social media platforms showing a person performing an experiment by putting a surgical mask in a vessel filled with hot water and then zooming the camera lens to show small black threads moving.
With the video, it is being claimed that one should refrain from wearing surgical masks as there are small worms inside its layers which adversely affects one’s health.
The video was shared on Facebook with a caption in Hindi which translates to, “Before wearing PPE kit masks watch this video. Small worms are hidden.”
In the video, a voice can be heard saying, “From this, it was found that there are very fine insects inside the mask, and comes out from the heat. So when you wear this mask, due to hot breath these insects come out of the mask with inhalation. These insects cannot be seen from the naked eye and it enters the lungs through your breath. This is why the disease spreads more. This makes people more ill. Of all the people who died, most have died by wearing masks.”
Several other Facebook and Twitter users are sharing the video with the same narrative.
NewsMobile fact-checked the above video and found the claim attached to it is false.
At the 1 minute 35 seconds mark in the video, one can notice a woman’s hand with blue nail polish.
With the help of reverse image search, we found this video uploaded on YouTube channel with a title in Russian which translates to, “Videos with mask worms viral on the web.” In the video, women can be heard explaining something in a foreign language.
According to Kazakhstan’s website ‘Arnapress’, the Kazakhstan Health Department’s ‘Committee of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Ministry of Health’ has clarified that the claims made in this video about the insect in the mask are absolutely false.
In rebuttal to a similar video in which the same experiment was being performed, AFP published an article in which scientists clarified that what can be seen moving in the video are fibres and fibres in masks can move either due to static electricity or because these “aerosol fibres” are so light that they are carried by air currents not usually felt by humans.
In the article, assistant professor at the electron microscopy laboratory at the Biological Center of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Jana Nebesarova was quoted as saying, “Most likely they are pieces of fabric. The air is full of these fabric fragments which float around freely together with pollen, mould, parts of dead cells from our skin, microscopic parts of earth etc.”
Further, the article also quotes Marina Jovanovic, an expert in biological science and research associate at the Institute of General and Physical Chemistry in Belgrade, questioning the conditions of the “experiments” shown in the misleading videos.
She said, “When you put on the mask when you touch it, you bring on various fragments … all sorts of impurities. What we saw on that mask were fragments, not parasites or anything alive.”
Moreover, no such information regarding worms hidden inside surgical masks has been provided by any credible health organisation. According to the World Health Organization, masks are an important weapon in the fight against COVID-19 disease.
Hence, it is clear that the information provided in the viral video is completely false.
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