Air pollution is linked to significantly higher rates of death in people with Covid-19, according to analysis. The work shows that even a tiny, single-unit increase in particle pollution levels in the years before the pandemic is associated with a 15% increase in the death rate. The research, done in the US, calculates that slightly cleaner air in Manhattan in the past could have saved hundreds of lives. Given the large differences in toxic air levels across countries, the research suggests people in polluted areas are far more likely to die from the coronavirus than those living in cleaner areas. The scientists said dirty air was already known to increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is extremely deadly and a cause of Covid-19-related deaths, as well as other respiratory and heart problems.

 

 

Kentaro IEMOTO from Tokyo, Japan [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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