On January 10, Facebook profile “სულიერი სამყარო” (Spiritual World) published a post, according to which, doctors in Vienna confirmed that wearing masks caused fungal infection and as a result, 10 children are in critical condition. The author of the post calls for readers to take masks away from Children.
The photo attached to the post depicts a child in a hospital bed. The photo has a German text written on it and its content is identical to the aforesaid text in the post.
As of January 13, the post has 33 shares.
Information about the fungal disease disseminated by the “სულიერი სამყარო “ (Spiritual World) is false. The Vienna Health Association denied the information about fungal infection caused by wearing masks in the hospitals located in Vienna. German fact-checking platform Correctiv contacted all 36 hospitals in Vienna and they haven’t confirmed the information about even a single case of a child treated for a fungal infection caused by wearing a mask at their hospitals.
Moreover, infectious disease specialists and dermatologists note that if hygiene guidelines are maintained when wearing a mask, it doesn’t cause bacterial or fungal growth.
Same disinformation with the identical photo disseminated in German sources back in October 2020 and it was verified by the local fact-checkers.
One of the fact-checking platforms that wrote an article about this issue is correctiv.org. The article notes that they’ve contacted via email all 36 hospitals and clinics located in Vienna to verify the information. The fact-checking platform emphasizes the fact that in the process of the research they haven’t found any evidence to confirm at least one case of fungal infection in children due to wearing masks in any hospital in Vienna. Moreover, on October 6, Vienna Health Association, responsible for all clinics in the city, as well as Vienna General Hospital, told correctiv.org via a phone conversation that they aren't aware of any fungal lung infection cases caused by wearing masks
In November, disinformation disseminated in Spanish sources as well, and media outlet Maldita verified the information with Vienna Health Association one more time. Association called the reports completely false. As we read in the article, Vienna Health Association is responsible for 7 children’s hospitals out of 8 located in Vienna. The 8th one is the St. Anna Children's Hospital, which responded to disseminated reports and published a statement noting that there is not a single hospital in Vienna where a child was admitted with fungal infection due to wearing masks.
Infectious disease specialists and dermatologists note that if hygiene guidelines are maintained when wearing a mask, it doesn't cause bacterial or fungal growth and hence, doesn’t cause infection either. In Associated Press, infectious disease specialist and professor at Boston University Davidson Hamer notes that bacterial growth could occur, in theory, if someone wore a mask that was already contaminated with moisture and became moldy, which is unbelievable and illogical. According to Hamer, there’s no evidence of masks leading to fungal or bacterial infections of the upper airway or the lower airway.
Read more about this topic in the fact-check of “Myth Detector”:
Prepared by Mariam Talakhadze
Archived post: სულიერი სამყარო (Spiritual World)
The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.