SAN DIEGO — As China’s outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread, many travelers are wary of getting on a plane.
But even with germs running amuck, some people aren’t letting that stop their plans. Kate Soplin, for one, said she wasn't going to miss her daughter's birthday trip to San Diego. But with coronavirus, COVID-19 now a world health threat, she also purchased surgical masks for her whole family.
"I'm a nurse so I kind of know what to do,” she said.
But do masks really work? Doctors say yes and no.
Cloth or surgical masks may be useless because air can still seep through the gaps.
There is however a heavier duty option. Doctors say the N95 respirator mask typically worn by medical professionals filters out 95% of smaller air particles. Still, the Centers for Disease Control aren’t ordering travelers to wear them.
If you wanted to get an N95 respirator mask, you may have a hard time finding one in San Diego. Some local drug and hardware stores told News 8 on Thursday they had sold out saying manufacturers aren't resupplying them in order to stock military bases and local hospitals instead.
Dr. Christopher O'Brien is the Chief of Infectious Disease at Kaiser Permanente. He recommends if you must travel stick to the basics.
"I think going back to the tenants of good hygiene including keeping hands clean, washing hands, not touching [your] face, eyes, nose, mouth,” said Dr. O’Brien.
That's not stopping travelers from wearing face shields and even putting them on pets.