On March 16thmedia reported that air pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles could increase the death rate of new coronapneumonia in cities. The European Union for Public Health (EPHA) has warned that air pollution in urban areas can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and other respiratory diseases, which could lead to higher deaths from the new coronavirus outbreak that is currently engulfing the world.
The European Respiratory Society (EPS), a member of the European Respiratory Society (EPHA), said emissions from petrol and diesel engines remained at “dangerous” levels and could endanger the most vulnerable in this and future pandemics.
Sara De Matteis, a member of EPS, said: “Chronic lung and heart disease patients who are exposed to or worsen from chronic lung and heart disease for long periods of time are less able to fight lung infections and are more likely to die. This may also be the case with COVID-19. “
While there is no evidence of a link between COVID-19 mortality and air pollution, a peer-reviewed study of SARS outbreaks in 2003 found that patients in areas with moderate air pollution levels were 84 percent more likely to die than areas with lower levels of air pollution.
Studies have shown that COVID-19 is similar to SARS and can cause severe pneumonia. Although the mortality data for COVID-19 are incomplete, preliminary data show that the majority of patients who die are elderly or have past chronic conditions such as heart or lung disease.
Sascha Marschang, acting secretary-general of EPHA, said governments must give priority to reducing vehicle exhaust pollution to avoid unnecessary deaths in future outbreaks.