Researchers Suggests Air Pollution Worsens COVID-19 Symptoms
COVID-19 – Air pollution in itself is already harmful to humans, however, adding COVID-19 into the mix and the symptoms possibly worsens.
Researchers from Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital conducted a study on 2,038 admitted admitted for COVID-19. In this study, they found out those living in neighborhoods with higher levels of air pollution and lead had more severe symptoms.
As such, the majority of those living in such conditions required intensive care machines to help them breathe. Because of this, the researchers suggested that the worse the local air pollution is, the higher the chances of patients needing machine-driven ventilation.
Long-term exposure to air pollution, according to Dr. Anita Shallal of Henry Ford Hospital, may impair the immune system and make it more susceptible to viral infections, while fine particles in air pollution may also act as a carrier for the virus and aid in its spread.
According to an article from ABS-CBN, Shallal “calls attention to the systemic inequalities that may have led to the stark differences in COVID-19 outcomes along racial and ethnic lines“.
Meanwhile, researchers from South Africa, who studied over 1 million COVID-19 infections, believe the new BETA variant could be deadlier than the original. After controlling for patients’ risk factors and hospital overcrowding, the researchers discovered that people infected during the second wave of the pandemic, when Beta was dominant, were more likely to require hospitalization than those infected during the first wave.
Along with this, those who were found positive during the second wave of COVID-19 infections had a 31% higher risk of death. Still, the researchers could not identify each patient’s individual COVID-19 variants.
Due to this, they used the first wave and the second wave as proxies. Additionally, Dr. Waasila Jassat of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg said:
We hope to repeat the analysis, comparing the third wave in South Africa to the first two waves, to similarly try to understand whether the Delta wave is associated with higher risk of death