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umwelt-plakette.de Aktuelles 2020-04-03

News on environmental zones and air pollution

Particulate matter as vector for the epidemic

Coronavirus is spreading at breakneck speed. Of course, national borders do not constitute an obstacle for the virus, which can cause the dangerous lung disease Covid-19. Within a few weeks, the world has sunk into chaos which has not been experienced for decades. Most countries are affected, and it is difficult to predict when the epidemic will end. 
However, what has so far been a certainty for doctors is that the virus spreads by means of so-called droplet infection. This type of spreading requires direct contact with other people so that the virus can be absorbed and transmitted through the human mucous membranes. Now, however, an increasing number of assessments have shown that there is a direct connection between high concentrations of particulate matter (PM 2.5) and the high number of infected persons. The virus seems to be able to enter the respiratory system of humans more easily by means of the particulate matter that helps it spread. The lungs of people living in areas with high levels of air pollution are already damaged by poor air quality, but now the particulate matter seems to act as a vector for the spread of the disease, as the newspaper “The European” reports.

Of course, this is a pure correlation, which fortunately is not yet a causality. However, experts are on alert and will monitor this peculiarity.