Recent media coverage on the link between air pollution and coronavirus has led to increased interest in understanding what air pollution is and the associated health risks. In this video, we speak to Professor Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology and Honorary Consultant Physician within Medicine at the University of Southampton and UK Clean Air Champion expert on air quality to get the low down.
Why has air pollution been linked to coronavirus?
We are seeing suggested patterns of higher rates of coronavirus incidence and deaths in areas with high levels of air pollution. This may be because air pollution makes the body more vulnerable to catching the virus, and or because air pollution causes so many of the underlying health conditions that cause complications for coronavirus patients.
Researchers have found some initial evidence of coronavirus on particles of air pollution, suggesting that particles of matter might carry the virus and contribute to its spread. But on all these points more research is needed as these are still early findings.”
What can we do to help?
On infection control for coronavirus, we all need to follow the government guidance. To protect ourselves from air pollution we need to both reduce the amount of air pollution that we create and reduce the pollution that we are exposed to.
The best thing to do is to avoid travelling by car as much as you can, and to walk or cycle instead. And when you are out and about, stay away from areas of high pollution by walking through parks or on side streets to avoid areas of heavy traffic.