Polluted air likely to worsen COVID situation
KATHMANDU, JANUARY 6
As the level of air pollution across the country has increased exponentially in the past few days, health experts have warned that continuous exposure to polluted air could directly or indirectly increase chances of being infected with COVID-19.
Air pollution normally increases the chance of ailments related to lungs and other health problems such as influenza. This puts people with chronic illness at greater risk of contracting coronaviurs. Various journals of organisations such as European Society of Cardiology have said around 15 per cent of COVID related fatalities are due to air pollution.
Apart from increased chance of contracting the virus, any person infected with COVID-19 can spread the virus more rapidly due to other ailments triggered by the pollution.
Dr Anup Subedi, infectious disease specialist, explains that if a COVID-19 patient gets allergy to dust and starts sneezing and coughing more rapidly, chances of that patient transmitting the virus to others also increases rapidly. “Air pollution does not only deteriorate the health of normal persons making them susceptible to coronavirus, the chances of spreading the virus from already ailing patents also rise significantly.”
So, in the current weather conditions and polluted atmosphere, if anyone is infected with coronavirus, it is very possible that they might spread the virus to other people faster due to coughing and sneezing triggered by the polluted air.
Studies on air pollution in recent years show that pollution can also carry different hazardous virus and living organisms. Some health expert also argue that air pollution can help the virus stay in the air for a longer time and spread faster.