Half a world way in the US, major retailers are selling out
of basic surgical masks amid panic from consumers.(So far, there have been five confirmed cases of coronavirus
Surgical masks are a basic defense against some viruses, and they may be helpful in communities where health officials suspect viruses are circulating widely.
But in the US, there’s no need to wear surgical masks — or the N95 respirators physicians wear when treating viruses — says infectious disease expert Dr. Charles Chiu.