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How Can You Tell If Your N95 or KN95 Mask Is Fake?



(WJW) – Earlier this week, it was reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was considering a recommendation for Americans to wear higher quality masks, specifically KN95s and N95s, amid the omicron surge.

But with all the choices on where to buy them and which type, it can get confusing to determine which masks are the real deal.

The CDC reports that 60% of the KN95 masks (a version of N95 masks made in China) in the U.S. are fake, for example.

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The most common pitfall scenarios, according to the CDC, occur because:

Documents are altered so mask models appear to comply with a particular standard, but they do not.Certification marks are counterfeit.Manufacturers’ names, logos, and model numbers are counterfeit.

Below is some information to help you choose your masks wisely.

What are N95 and KN95 masks?

As outlined by the Cleveland Clinic, cloth masks don’t do much to protect users from inhaling particles that carry the virus.

According to the CDC, tight-fitting masks like N95 and KN95 respirators are designed to protect the people wearing them from particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19. At the same time, they protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets and particles.

Some respirators are tested to meet international health standards and are labeled to tell users what standard they meet. The most widely available respirators that meet international standards are KN95s, according to the CDC.

But others go a step further and also meet a specific U.S. standard that includes a quality requirement through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Those include the N95 respirators.

The CDC recommends that specially labeled “surgical” N95s be prioritized for healthcare workers.

“It’s really best to find a mask that has been approved by a regulating body,” said the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Steven Gordon. “But the truth is that at the end of the day, any mask that fits closely to the face is better than a mask that doesn’t.” 

How can you tell if your mask is a counterfeit?

The CDC warns that some counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being NIOSH-approved. They may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection, according to the CDC.

NIOSH-approved respirators, like N95 masks, will have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator. An abbreviated approval is also on the respirator.

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KN95 masks are not approved by NIOSH, so legitimate KN95 masks should not include a NIOSH-approved stamp or claim.

Other signs that a respirator may be counterfeit, according to the CDC, include the following:

No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respiratorNo approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headbandNo NIOSH markings on N95 masksNIOSH spelled incorrectly on N95 masksPresence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)Claims of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands

Supply chain issues create a disposable mask shortage

Red flags when shopping for a mask

When shopping for respirators from third-party marketplaces or unfamiliar websites, the CDC also warns the public to take the following into account:

If a listing claims to be “legitimate” and “genuine,” it likely is not.Look at the transaction history and reviews if possible.Are there changes to the items sold over time (high or low periods of transaction)? Legitimate businesses and suppliers typically sell the same items over time.Are there price changes or swings? (Is it too good to be true?)Look at the quantity a buyer has in stock. During a time of shortage, advertising “unlimited stock” could indicate the respirator is not NIOSH-approved.Does the seller break marketplace policy and hide their contact information within images?Is the primary contact email address connected to the website or is it a free email account? Using a free email service may suggest the seller is not part of the company.Look for bad grammar, typos and other errors.Watch for cookie-cutter websites in which the sellers interchange several websites, resulting in mistakes.

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‘Joe Vs Carole’: ‘Tiger King’-inspired TV Series Starring Kate McKinnon Gets First Trailer



(NEXSTAR) – It’s the story you already know, now told by a bunch of people you probably also know.

Peacock has released the first trailer for “Joe vs Carole,” an upcoming scripted drama series based on the events that inspired the Wondery podcast “Joe Exotic: Tiger King,” and Netflix’s “Tiger King” docuseries.

“The story you know was only half the tale,” the trailer teases.

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Peacock’s adaptation, starring Kate McKinnon (“SNL”) as Carole Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) as Joe Exotic, is said to be based specifically on the Wondery podcast, which was hosted and reported by Robert Moor. McKinnon is also an executive producer of the Peacock series.

“The limited series will center on Carole Baskin, a big cat enthusiast, who learns that fellow exotic animal lover Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel is breeding and using his big cats for profit,” per a description offered by Peacock. “She sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. But Carole has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous.”

In addition to McKinnon and Mitchell, “Joe vs Carole” will star Kyle MacLachlan, Dean Winters and William Fichtner. The series debuts March 3 on Peacock’s streaming platform.

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Peacock’s scripted take on the “Tiger King” drama was one of several to be announced following the success of the podcast and docuseries. One, which was set to star Nicolas Cage as Exotic, was shelved as it is “no longer relevant,” Cage told Variety in July 2021. Rob Lowe had also teased his possible casting as Joe Exotic in a Ryan Murphy-helmed production, though it’s unclear if the project is still in the works.

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The Sweet Story Behind 3-year-old’s Viral ‘Spider-Girl’ Birthday Photos



MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – A 3-year-old girl’s Spider-Man costume has captured the hearts of thousands on social media.

The pictures, which show Demi Rose Jackson overlooking downtown Mobile, Alabama, and dressed as the one and only Spider-Man while styling in her afro-puffs, have gone viral. 

Demi Rose Jackson’s mother and eldest sister shared the deeper meaning behind the costume. 

Her professional photographer mother Diamond Jackson had the vision to make Demi Rose’s love for the marvel character come to life, saying her daughter’s obsession is fairly new. 

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“We literally ran across a Spider-Man bookbag or lunch box in Target one night, and she just fell in love,” Diamond said. “Ever since then, when we see things, she is crazy about it. She even has a love for spiders.”

They say the toddler insisted on Spider-Man’s actual costume and not some superhero-inspired dress. It was at that moment that she turned into Spider-Girl. 

In true Peter Parker fashion, Demi Rose decided to remain in character and let her family do all the talking. 

Her eldest sister Denver helped hold Spider-Girl’s string as she shot her web.

“When I saw the costume, I was so excited, like, ‘Oh my God, it’s so cute,’” said Denver. She also said the three-year-old can be a bit of a handful.

“At home, she’s active. She’s always torturing us. She’s very bad. But she’s sweet,” Denver said. 

The pictures have been shared on Facebook more than 75,000 times. They also had actors Viola Davis and Marvel’s own Michael B. Jordan marveling at what many are calling “Black Girl Magic.”

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Diamond and Denver say most of that magic comes from Demi Rose’s natural hair. 

“I think afros were always kind of big, but long ago it wasn’t,” Denver said. “But I think after the Spider-Man photo, it made a big, big difference and inspired a lot of people.”

“I really want them to embrace their natural hair,” said Diamond. “I think it’s important for them to love every part about themselves, and when I say ‘them’ I mean all three of my daughters. It was to the point where I cut my own hair to go natural, to let them know if I can love myself like this, then you can too.” 

Diamond hopes this moment continues to bring joy and inspire inclusion across the world. 

“My heart is full. I feel like with everything going on in the world, I feel like it’s perfect to have a little superhero that we can believe in,” Diamond said. 

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US and Russia Try to Lower Temperature in Ukraine Crisis



The United States and Russia sought to lower the temperature in a standoff over Ukraine, even as they reported no breakthroughs in high-level talks aimed at preventing a feared Russian invasion

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