Masks, the risk versus benefit

    Washington, DC (ABC) - ABC Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said using masks might be effective.

    Two major cities are now recommending people wear masks when venturing outside into the public.

    But with the shortage of personal protective gear like masks, how effective will a homemade one be?

    Dr. Ashton said there might be more benefits to the public than those wearing the masks, "For this type of scenario, we always have said, and this is still true, that you put a mask on someone who is ill to prevent those viral particles from going out."

    She said if the CDC and the World Health Organization does an about-face, it is to protect others. 

    "It's not to protect the wearer, and you value risk versus benefit.  There's pretty low risk to wearing it, so there may be a benefit," she added.

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