Literatus: Air pollution, strong factor in high Covid transmissions, deaths (Part 1)

·2 min read

In an obvious effort to pressure those who shy away from Emergency Use Vaccination, blame on recent surges of new cases and deaths in major cities in the country had been placed on the unvaccinated.

At the surface, the connection appears obvious. However, Covid-19 community transmission is often not what it seems, especially when we look only at surface factors and nowhere else.

Moreover, blaming the unvaccinated may divert the attention of the government to a crucial factor in the community transmission of Covid-19 infection and death rates: air pollution. It is so, particularly in air quality index factors, such as fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5) and nitrous oxide species.

Evidence from badly hit countries, such as China, England, Germany, Italy and the United States, pointed out unequivocally to the strong culprit in the community transmission of Sars-CoV-2 in moderately to highly polluted locations, particularly highly urbanized cities, which suffer these days from high numbers of new cases, and even deaths.

In China, and in a study that involved 219 cities, Zhenbo Zhang, Ting Xue and Xiaoyu Jin of the Nanjing Audit University and the Nanjing University observed that moderate to high air pollution has been associated with new confirmed cases. In the 2020 issue of the Science of the Total Environment, the team reported that an increase of 10 units of the Air Quality Index increases community transmission of Covid-19 by five to seven percent.

Low air quality can counteract the protective effect of high temperature against Covid-19 infection and transmission.

In England, moderate to high levels of nitrous oxide content in the regional air had been associated with increases in the number of deaths, reported Marco Travaglio of the University of Cambridge in the January 2021 issue of Environmental Pollution. In the sub-regional air pollution, these pollutants had been associated with increases in deaths and new cases.

Moreover, an increase in the PM2.5 concentration in the air had been associated with 12 percent increases in new Covid-19 cases.

We will continue reporting more findings from different countries next week. In the meantime, filtered air conditioning indoor environments had been recommended in Italy to prevent infection and transmission within the family. This means that uncleaned air conditioning filters must be cleaned regularly to ensure their effectiveness in removing Sars-CoV-2 from entering your homes.

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