The spread of SARS-CoV-2 is speculated to be influenced by short-term and long-term atmospheric pollutants exposure, mainly particulate matter (PMs).
This could lead to the possibility of reporting of severe cases of Covid-19 around highly industrialized areas because of higher pollution levels, as per the study published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
The study noted that atmospheric pollutants can act as virus carriers and boost pandemic diffusion.
The research was led by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the University of Salento and the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS).
It focused on the analysis of atmospheric pollutants concentrations (PM10, PM2.5, NO2) along with the Spatio-temporal distribution of cases and deaths (specifically incidence, mortality, and lethality rates) across Italy.
The authors of the study stated that their results suggest the hypothesis of a moderate-to-strong correlation between the number of days exceeding the annual regulatory limits of PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 atmospheric pollutants and Covid-19 incidence, mortality, and lethality rates.
Overall, PM10 and PM2.5 showed a higher correlation than NO2 with Covid-19 incidence, mortality, and lethality rates, they added.
The authors said in the study that climate change negatively affects human health and its potential role in the pandemic spread deserves further investigation.