Air pollution would decrease resistance to coronavirus

Air pollution in large cities causes diseases that would induce greater susceptibility to coronavirus.

Fine particles could also facilitate the spread of the disease. Air pollution causes 67,000 premature deaths each year in France, according to a 2019 study by the European Society of Cardiology. But if we add the Covid-19 factor that is currently raging in the country, this figure could rise sharply.

Coronavirus: a greater threat in large cities

The NGO European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) issued a warning on March 16. " Patients suffering from chronic heart and lung diseases caused or aggravated by long-term exposure to air pollution are less able to fight lung infections, and more likely to die," warns Sara De Matteis, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Cagliari, Italy. It is mainly in large cities that people would be most exposed to this risk. Coronavirus is a greater threat in polluted cities, " says the NGO. Air pollution causes hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases. Diseases that doctors associate with higher mortality rates for Covid-19."

The strong correlation between air quality and respiratory virus infections is not new. A study of the victims of another coronavirus, SARS, which occurred in China in 2003, already indicated that patients living in polluted areas were 84% more likely to die than those living in areas with less air pollution.

"Highways for contagions".

But the impact of pollution on the prevalence of coronavirus would not stop there. A study The study, carried out by researchers and doctors from the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine, suggests a relationship between levels of airborne PM10 and PM2.5 particles and the number of people with coronavirus. In concrete terms, the researchers linked the air pollution recorded by the regional environmental protection agencies at the end of February to the number of contaminations.

They concluded that there was a correlation between the curves in northern Italy. "The high concentrations of particles recorded during February in the Po Plain caused an acceleration of the diffusion of Covid-19. The effect is evident in the provinces where there were the first outbreaks ", assures Leonardi Setti of the University of Bologna. " Dust carries the virus. They act as carriers. The more there are, the more highways are created for contagions ", continues Gianluigi de Gennaro, from the University of Bologna.

The relationship between concentrations of airborne particles and the spread of viruses had already been studied before the Covid-19 health crisis. In 2010, scientists had demonstrated that the avian influenza virus could spread over long distances through Asian dust clouds.

In Paris, air quality remains "poor

Faced with this situation, EPHA stresses the urgency of lowering air pollution levels. down the road. " Governments should have tackled chronic air pollution a long time ago. But they have prioritized the economy over health by going easy on the auto industry," says Sascha Marschang, EPHA's secretary general. Once this crisis is over, policymakers should accelerate action to get dirty vehicles off our roads. Science tells us that epidemics like Covid-19 will occur with increasing frequency. "

It is still too early to measure the impact of containment on the country's air pollution. In fact, France is one of the bad students in this regard. In Paris, air quality remained "poor" this week according to Airparif data. While road traffic has dropped sharply, the lack of wind, the ammonia released by agricultural spraying in the region, and the nitrogen from wood heating systems have not helped to reduce air pollution.

Find Here the article on the Actu Environnement website.

Partager sur linkedin
Partager sur facebook
Partager sur twitter
Partager sur pinterest
Partager sur whatsapp
<i class=" fa fa-angle-up" aria-hidden="true" role="img"></i>