Several studies have shown a link between air pollution and Covid, but so far no one has gone to assess how smog favors the disease, whether by increasing infections or increasing symptoms and the severity of them.
Experts have considered 9,605 people including 481 confirmed cases of Covid (5%). For 4,000 of the participants, the experts performed blood tests in search of specific antibodies against the virus. It was found that at increased exposure to nitric oxide e fine powders (fine particulate PM2.5) match higher concentrations of antibodies (an indicator of high viral load and stronger symptoms of the infection).
In all cases a ‘association between high levels of pollutants and disease (presence of symptoms), especially for more severe cases that end up in hospital e intensive care. The association with fine particulate matter and disease was particularly strong for i males over 60 and for those who live in disadvantaged areas from a socio-economic point of view.
“Our study provides the strongest evidence globally of the association between air pollution and Covid-19,” explains the author of the work. Manolis Kogevinas. “These findings are consistent with the association between air pollution and hospitalization described for other infectious diseases such as influenza or pneumonia.” Smog can also help promote the development of chronic cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, which in turn increase the risk of severe Covid-19, he concludes.