air pollution

First Evidence – Air Pollution Is Linked To Coronavirus Deaths

Health experts had suspected a link between air pollution and coronavirus deaths. They had hypothesized that the coronavirus pandemic would kill more people in areas where there’s higher air pollution. The irony of the virus beginning in China, which has among the worst air quality in the world

Now, they have preliminary data to back it up.

A new study released on Saturday but not yet peer reviewed is the first to look at the impact of the novel coronavirus on highly polluted parts of the U.S. The team found that just a small increase in long-term air pollution exposure led to a 15 percent rise in the covid-19 death rate.

By looking at data from the nearly 3,000 U.S. counties that have released their coronavirus case reports and death tolls, a team of Harvard public health researchers found a correlation between the concentration of air pollutants and the COVID-19 death rate.

In New York City, one of the global epicenters of the pandemic, more than 5,000 people have died. The authors estimate Manhattan would’ve seen some 300 fewer deaths if particulate matter levels were lower by even a single microgram per cubic meter (the standard for measuring air quality).

The results add another layer of urgency to cleaning up pollution, which is already responsible for increasing the risks of asthma, other respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and a host of other maladies.

The finding is bad news for people living in crowded areas with poor sanitation — and serves as another illustration of how the death rate and severity of outbreaks are determined by structural inequalities long-present in society.

This study may be the first to examine this relationship, but it certainly won’t be the last and we will keep you posted as and when that happens…

Reference- Earther Report, Harvard Public Health Research Paper, Futurism