WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Health professionals at Aspirus Wausau Hospital say protective masks won't prevent community members from contracting illnesses like the Coronavirus.
Face masks are meant to be used by those showing symptoms of being sick as a measure to prevent the spread of germs, according to the CDC.
Officials add using protective masks unnecessarily can potentially do more harm than good.
"There is no benefit to the mask if your not symptomatic. They're not helping you with anything at this point in time; you're just depleting the supply for people who really do need them," said Robin Novak, infection prevention manager at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
The N95 masks, in particular, are seeing sharp increases in sales at major US retailers, according the Associated Press. N95 masks require being fit-tested to be effective, but hoarding the masks depletes necessary resources.
Health officials say the best way to prevent getting is washing your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds each time.