Coronavirus scare causing surgical masks shortage


"It just creates panic for no reason," Dr. Jaggernauth said.

ROGERS, Ark. (KFTA) — Panic continues to grow as the coronavirus continues to spread and now there’s a shortage of surgical masks Northwest Arkansas because of the scare.

You’ve probably seen people wearing surgical masks like the one below.

Medical professionals in Northwest Arkansas, who actually need them, are saying they are now seeing a shortage.

Courtesy of Doctor Simeon Jaggernauth, Landmark Cancer Center

In Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus has killed over 100 people, wearing a face mask is mandatory — and now the other side of the globe, surgical masks are selling out.

Wearing a mask just because everyone else is wearing it because of fear, you don’t need to and it’s absolutely overkill.

Doctor Simeon Jaggernauth, Landmark Cancer Center

While you may feel safer wearing a mask Doctor Simeon Jaggernauth said it’s actually not all that effective for protecting you from the virus, mainly because of the holes on the side.

“It just creates panic for no reason,” Dr. Jaggernauth said.

He said this shortage also puts his patients at the Landmark Cancer Center in harm’s way.

“We have so many cancer patients up here in the Northwest region,” he said. “They are actually the ones who would be most susceptible to this.”

Dr. Jaggernauth said these masks are mainly for physicians and those who work closely with people who are sick, but now even those in the health field are having a hard time getting masks.

“If no one’s infected with the coronavirus and you’re not going to a place that has it like China, then don’t worry about it,” he said.

We have had a little trouble getting them, yes.

Julie Stewart, Pharmacist, Medical Arts Pharmacy & Medical Supply

Medical Arts Pharmacy & Medical Supply Pharmacist Julie Stewart said they aren’t able to buy any more n95 respirators — the face mask that is recommended by the CDC for health care professionals who could actually be exposed to the coronavirus.

“It’s not necessarily used for just the general public walking around with,” Stewart said. “That’s not recommended particularly in the United States where there are not any widespread cases.”

All of this to say — according to medical professionals in Northwest Arkansas, masks are giving you a false sense of security.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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