Washington Post: The coronavirus is deadly enough. But some experts suspect bad air makes it worse.

A recent article by the Washington Post, “The coronavirus is deadly enough. But some experts suspect bad air makes it worse,” examines how air pollution may increase the health risks associated with the coronavirus.

While research has long demonstrated the link between air pollution and respiratory infection, Christopher Carlsten at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Medicine tells the Post that “coronavirus could amplify the existing strain on the lungs from smoking and air pollution.”

Researchers acknowledge that further study is needed on the link between air quality and the coronavirus, and now more than ever, it’s important to understand how dangerous pollutants in our air continue to impact our most vulnerable populations.

From the Washington Post:

With thousands of deaths already in the raging coronavirus pandemic, it’s clear the disease is worse for the elderly and those with preexisting health problems. But scientists are considering whether more subtle factors may also intensify the disease or increase the initial chances of infection — including smoking and air pollution.

There are no large scale studies from the current outbreak of coronavirus, which causes a disease known as covid-19, that directly support this conclusion — and only a few hints from smaller studies.

But experts note that damage to the lungs from pollutants that result from combustion — whether inhaled deliberately by smokers, or inadvertently by those in regions with poor air quality — may increase the risk of respiratory tract infections from viruses such as the novel coronavirus. Poor air can also cause lung inflammation that could worsen the symptoms of covid-19.

To view the full article, click here.

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