A mouth mask of the type worn by doctors and nurses to prevent the spread of bacteria from the wearer's mouth and nose. It is composed of a rectangular piece of cloth with several horizontal folds to allow it to stretch over the mouth and nose. This term refers to two similar types of medical masks, a procedure mask and surgical mask. Procedure masks may not be sterile and fasten by looping around the ears; used when carrying out general medical procedures like a check-up. Surgical masks are sterile and are fastened by bands that loop around the head; used when carrying out surgeries.
In Japan, it is common to wear a face mask whilst ill to avoid infecting others in public settings. During the coronavirus pandemic, it became common to wear masks worldwide.