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Study: Poor air quality can up consequences of Covid-19

By: Team Ifairer | Posted: 30-11-2020
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Study: Poor air quality can up consequences of Covid-19
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A new research adds to the growing body of evidence that elevated levels of air pollution may amplify the waves of SARS-CoV-2 contamination, the virus responsible for Covid-19 diseases. The study, published in the journal Earth Systems and Environment, investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease.

The result suggests that high concentrations of particles less than 2.5 micrometres in size may modulate, or even amplify, the waves of SARS-CoV-2 contamination and explain in part the particular profile of the Covid-19 pandemic. "The study provides preventive measures related to air pollution to limit future outbreaks of morbidity and mortality due to the coronavirus," said study author Mario Rohrer from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Covid-19 studies conducted in Italy and France suggest that SARS-CoV-2 was already present in Europe at the end of 2019, while the sharp increase in morbidity and mortality was only recorded in spring 2020 in Paris and London. "This time lag is surprising, but also suggests that something else than just the mere interaction of people may promote the transmission of the virus, and particularly the severity of the infection," Rohrer said.

The research team has been able to show that these increases in cases followed phases where the levels of fine particles in the air were higher. The team made similar observations in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where fine-particle pollution increased sharply during a period of shallow fog on the Magadino plain and the Sotto Ceneri, observed at the end of February 2020.

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