Pollution may increase virus transmissibility making people more vulnerable to COVID-19, say experts

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

Air pollution may increase transmissibility of the novel coronavirus making people more vulnerable to the disease and aggravating the COVID-19 situation, experts have said, while warning that those who have had the infection in the past may also have to face new challenges.

With winters approaching and easing of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Delhi-NCR is bracing for months of poor air quality. The national capital’s air quality was in the ‘poor’ category on Sunday morning.

According to doctors, respiratory illnesses like viral influenza increase with a spike in pollution levels as poor air quality leads to inflammation in the lungs making it more vulnerable for the virus to penetrate.

“This year, we have COVID-19. Like the common cold, the transmission of this virus is expected to increase with a rise in pollution levels. We may see a further surge in cases.

Factors are likely to become more effective during the festive season and winters, particularly in north India where stubble burning is common and this affects air quality severely, Experts said.

He cautioned that people with respiratory illness, like asthma and bronchitis, were at much higher risk of contracting coronavirus infection.

According to Dr Gupta, with the cohort of survivors of COVID-19 increasing, a significant number is noted to be symptomatic — 43 per cent with respiratory complaints– even after two months.

These individuals are particularly vulnerable to air pollution, which is known to cause chronic airway irritation and inflammation, affects mucus clearing, impairs immunity and acutely precipitates airway disorders like asthma, COPD, lung fibrosis or even cancer-related conditions.

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