(The Hill) — One of the most common complaints against wearing face masks or coverings is that it makes it hard to breathe. Well, a new study shows that’s just the point.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, most commonly enters the body through the nose, according to a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina, infecting the nasal cavity to a greater extent than anywhere else in the respiratory tract. The disease, which often presents as a respiratory infection, attacks the lungs, manifesting in symptoms such as difficulty breathing.

“If the nasal cavity is the initial site mediating seeding of the lung via aspiration, these studies argue for the widespread use of masks to prevent aerosol, large droplet, and/or mechanical exposure to the nasal passages,” the study said.

Coronavirus is an airborne disease, and researchers have determined that it is spread primarily through close contact. With the nose being so susceptible to inhaling contagious droplets and becoming infected, masks covering the nose are essential.

Public health experts have also emphasized the importance of a proper fit on a mask, especially around the top and bottom, ensuring that there is no gap left for droplets to come through. So, comfortable or not, wear your face mask and make sure it fits snugly.

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