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The strong correlation between air pollution and COVID-19 could be explained by the negative impact on the immune system. This was demonstrated for other diseases, and this is likely the case for COVID-19, too. The effect held not just for pollution levels at the time of the outbreak, but for levels over the previous years as well, indicating prior exposure had likely compromised people’s ability to fight off the illness.

 

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Air pollution and case fatality of SARS in the People’s Republic of China: an ecologic study (2003)

The study demonstrated a positive association between air pollution and SARS case fatality in Chinese population by utilizing publicly accessible data on SARS statistics and air pollution indices. Although ecologic fallacy and uncontrolled confounding effects might have biased the results, the possibility of a detrimental effect of air pollution on the prognosis of SARS patients deserves further investigation.

New Research Links Air Pollution to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates

Coronavirus patients in areas with high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are far more likely to die from the infection than patients in parts of the country where the air is cleaner according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates.

Can atmospheric pollution be considered a co-factor in extremely high level of SARS-CoV-2 lethality in Northern Italy?

Published on April 6 in Environmental Pollution, the paper suggests they may have suffered a number of complications  because their bodies were already been weakened by their long-term exposure to toxic air.

Pollution, Infectious Disease, and Mortality: Evidence from the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic

The findings support recent medical evidence on the link between air pollution and influenza infection, and suggest that poor air quality was an important cause of mortality during the pandemic.

How Air Pollution Makes The Coronavirus So Much More Dangerous

“People who are living in places with more air pollution may be more likely to get infected with this in the first place, and if they do get infected they’re more likely to die,” Bernstein said. “There will be research looking at COVID and air quality to better understand the relationship, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t show that air pollution was a problem.

 How does air pollution interact with COVID-19?

Air pollution and co-morbidities

Lockdowns and air quality

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