COVID-19 and exposure to air pollution

COVID-19 and exposure to air pollution

Research detects a more dangerous SARS-CoV-2 mutation Results showed that those exposed to PM2.5 were at a higher risk of getting COVID-19. They wrote, “PM2.5 is a highly significant predictor of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related hospital admissions.” The author explained that the World Health Organization (WHO) outlines a guideline of 10mcg/m 3 as a baseline. He wrote that this study revealed that cases of COVID-19 rose by 100 percent when the concentration of pollution rose by 20 percent. Hot spot connection Bo Andree says that the risk of some airborne viruses could rise if there are higher amounts of ambient fine particles. These fine particles can stay suspended in the air for long and also travel far from one place to another. When inhaled, these particles can also reach deep within the lung tissues causing damage. Measles is one such virus that has shown an increased propensity to cause infection in regions where there is more air pollution. One previous study has shown that in China, the risk of getting measles rose after 1 to 3 days of exposure to higher concentrations of PM10 and SO2 (Sulphur dioxide). The relative risk of getting influenza also rose if the air pollution levels were high in the Chinese cities, found researchers. The effect was most significant within two to three days after exposure to the fine particulate matter. “If air pollution plays a similar role in the incidence of SARS-CoV-2, there should be a positive relationship between confirmed COVID-19 cases and particulate matter concentrations.” He added that China is one of the worst polluted nations with the highest amount of PM2.5 concentrations. The Hubei province, where the COVID-19 infections first originated, is also one of the worst polluted regions. In another hard-hit nation Italy, one of the worst polluted areas is the Lombardy area in the northern Po valley. This region has some of the worst quality of air in the whole of Europe, say the researchers. Some studies show that most of the severely affected cases of COVID-19 in Italy were from this region. However, not all densely populated areas are badly affected by the infection, say the researchers and the connection could be the quality of air. Conclusions and future recommendations This study reveals a strong connection between air pollution and COVID-19. They wrote that these findings make it evident that there is a need for further studies to look at the association between air pollution and SARS CoV-2 infection risk. Bo Andree says, “If particulate matter plays a significant role in the incidence of COVID-19 disease, it has strong implications for the mitigation strategies required to prevent spreading, particularly in areas that have high levels of pollution.” *Important Notice medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information. Journal reference: Incidence of COVID-19 and Connections with Air Pollution Exposure: Evidence from the Netherlands Bo Pieter Johannes Andree medRxiv 2020.04.27.20081562; doi:- https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.27.20081562v1



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