BALTIMORE (WJZ) — How are you wearing your mask? Does it cover just your mouth, or both your mouth and nose?

New research from Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests the nose is a key entry point for the coronavirus, and that’s why it’s important for people to also cover their noses.

“Making sure that you are wearing the mask properly, that you are not breathing air out of your nose and into the world that might infect another person,” said Dr. Andrew Lane with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The team at Johns Hopkins believes COVID-19 is latching on to certain cells in the nose at an alarming rate — up to 700 times more than in other cells.

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“So there is a lot of reason to think that the nose is the place where the virus if not comes in, stays there for a while and that’s the reason why to prevent other people from getting the virus from you if you had it, it’s important to wear the mask over your nose and not just your mouth,” Lane said. “When we test for virus, we test in the nose, we put a swab in the back of the nose because studies show that’s the area where you can find the most virus in people who are infected.”

WJZ spoke with people about wearing masks.

“People, when they wear a mask, they usually wear it under their mouths, the air that’s coming out of their mouths is hot, so they don’t want to do that,” said Michael Carlo in Baltimore. “I ride public transportation, and you will see people not wearing even when they are supposed to. They are either not wearing a mask, or they are not wearing it properly.”

The Johns Hopkins study could lead to more targetted treatments that could conquer COVID-19, but until that day comes people are sticking to some simple rules.

“Until it’s over, until it’s gone, I am going to practice social distancing and wearing a mask,” another man in Baltimore said.

Researchers believe since the nose seems to be such fertile ground for COVID-19 to latch onto cells and thrive, that may explain why some people lose their sense of smell.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett

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