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Can air pollution and smog worsen the symptoms of COVID-19? Prevention steps to reduce disease risk

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Can air pollution and smog worsen the symptoms of COVID-19?  Prevention steps to reduce disease risk

Can air pollution and smog worsen the symptoms of COVID-19? Prevention steps to reduce disease risk Photo Credit: iStock Images

Main points

  • COVID-19 is known to affect various organs of the body, including the lungs
  • As smog levels rise in the country, people worry about whether the viral spread and symptoms will worsen
  • Studies have suggested a strong link between air pollution, smog and the complications of COVID-19, the risk of death

New Delhi: The coronavirus has been around for months, and unfortunately, there seems to be no cure for the disease, soon. While researchers and medical professionals are constantly working to provide an effective, safe and free vaccine against the virus, and also trying to create specific cures for viral infection, precautions and prevention still remain our best bet against the disease, anyway. as we have been living with it for almost a year now.

As we all wait for the problem to subside, it seems that the risk of viral infection only gets stronger as the winter season approaches. Researchers have warned that not only will the virus spread faster and easier during the winter months, but the threat of air pollution and smog plaguing the country, especially the national capital during the cold winter months, could only make the disease worse. sorry.

The link between COVID-19 and air pollution – What we know so far

The new coronavirus was initially believed to affect only the respiratory system, however, over time, it was discovered that the virus could affect the entire body and cause significant damage to almost all vital organs. However, even if the former were true, COVID-19 may have a direct link to air pollution and its effects on the body, as air pollution also affects the lungs. Various studies have explored the connection over time.

Scientific evidence supports the link between COVID-19 symptoms and air pollution

A beginner study conducted in March 2020, when the spread of coronavirus was not so severe in India, at least, said air pollution could be a common denominator in countries with severe COVID-19. The study, published in BMJ, said there was a correlation between the severe symptoms of COVID-19 and air pollution.

In another study conducted by scientists at TH Harward School of Public Health, it was found that there is concrete evidence that exposure to air pollution can worsen the mortality of COVID-19, in a dramatic way.

The study found that long-term exposure to Fine Particle Materials was significantly associated with the likelihood of COVID-19 death. In other words, those living in highly polluted areas were significantly more likely to die from the deadly disease.

Globally speaking, fire fumes, which are a concern in countries like the US have also been associated with the symptoms and severity of COVID-19, given how they also contribute to air pollution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, has published guidelines on fire smoke and COVID-19 link on their website, and a list of groups that may be at high risk of disease due to both factors.

What can we do to stay safe?

As smog levels rise in place, it is important to make sure you stay safe from the effects of COVID-19, air pollution, and prevent the risk of one getting worse than the other. Here are some steps you can take to stay safe from the virus as well as pollution.

  • Stay inside, get out only if absolutely necessary
  • Wear a mask anytime you go out
  • Individuals at high risk, especially those with respiratory problems should stay strictly at home
  • Practice social distancing at all times
  • Practice proper hand and breathing hygiene
  • Avoid outdoor exercise, exercise or walks. Try to do indoor workouts using exercise routines like Yoga
  • Practice breathing exercises regularly to strengthen your lungs
  • Eat a healthy diet, especially including foods that enhance lung health
  • Contribute to reducing air pollution in any way you can – avoid using vehicles for short distances, do not burn waste.

Responsibility: The advice and suggestions mentioned in this article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions regarding any medical issues.



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