6 June 2024

Repeatedly wearing the same facemask can put you at risk of serious, possibly fatal illnesses, due to the build-up of bacteria within the mask. Thailand’s Anti-Fake News Centre has confirmed that this is true information and cited data from the Health Department of the Public Health Ministry.

Following the widespread circulation of this warning online, the department explained that surgical facemasks should not be washed and reused, as they are considered to be infectious waste. Therefore, such masks should be disposed of properly in a trash can with a lid.

Facemasks made from cloth, however, should be washed every day, with either soap or detergent, and allowed to dry in sunlight.

It is also recommended that people change their facemasks every 6-8 hours, especially when the mask becomes damp or when coming back from a high risk or crowded area, where there is a chance of the disease spreading.

The Anti-Fake News Centre was set up by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to cope with the spread of fake news on the Internet and in social media and to provide correct and verified information to the public, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when misleading information has proliferated.