Kate Hudson joins social media trend sharing facemask selfie — experts say it won’t protect you from coronavirus

Hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that an outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S. is “inevitable,” actor Kate Hudson posted a picture of herself on Instagram sitting on a plane and appearing to wear a facemask. She added the caption: “Travel. 2020” with a flushed-face emoji.

Kate Hudson shared a picture on Instagram in which she appears to be wearing a facemask on a flight. Experts say that the products are not great at preventing the spread of disease. (Photo: Toni Anne Barson/WireImage)

The outbreak, which is teetering on the edge of a pandemic, has caused 80,000 infections and 2,708 deaths worldwide as of Tuesday. Still, experts insist the risk of getting influenza in the U.S. remains “far greater.” The CDC estimates that as many as 41,000 Americans have been infected with the flu since October, and that over 16,000 deaths have been linked to the virus. By comparison, 53 Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus thus far. Those who do contract it have a high chance of recovery with a mortality rate of just 0.7 percent outside of China, according to the World Health Organization.

But despite both the low-level of spreading outside of China and the extremely high likelihood of a full recovery, an increasing number of Americans have begun to purchase and wear masks like Hudson. After the 40-year-old posted the selfie, comments began to roll in — some applauding her for protecting herself and others pointing out that the mask she is wearing isn’t effective at preventing the spread of the virus.

William Schaffner, MD, an epidemiologist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, agrees. “The utility of those face masks is marginal at best. It’s like Linus’s [from Peanuts] comfort blanket — it makes you feel you’ve done something, you’re not just a victim,” Schaffner tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It may give you a sense that you and everybody else in the community, as you look around seeing other people wearing masks, we’re all together in this.”

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Travel. 2020. #😳

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