Hundreds of additional corona deaths in the Netherlands due to poor air quality | Domestic

Hundreds of additional corona deaths in the Netherlands due to poor air quality | Domestic
Hundreds of additional corona deaths in the Netherlands due to poor air quality | Domestic

Dirty air may have caused hundreds more people to die from the coronavirus. People living in areas with poor air quality were at greater risk of dying after being infected.

In any case, they were more likely to contract the virus and their corona symptoms were worse. This is the conclusion of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), GGD GHOR Netherlands and the universities of Utrecht and Wageningen after research.

How did the study work?

The researchers studied corona infections, hospital admissions and deaths between the beginning of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, i.e. the period from the outbreak to the start of the vaccination campaign. During that period, more than 760,000 people tested positive for corona, more than 31,000 people ended up in hospital with corona complaints and almost 22,500 patients died.

According to the study, if air quality had been average in regions with poor air quality, it would have saved 6,000 to 13,500 infections, approximately 1,100 hospital admissions and four hundred to eight hundred deaths.

The study compared regions with poor air quality with places where air quality was better. The researchers did not explicitly look at which regions were involved. They do say that livestock farming and traffic in particular influenced the higher risk of corona and serious illness. What effect the industry had is more difficult to determine.

Lung complaints and heart disease

It is not the case that people contract corona due to poor air quality, because that happens through human contact, the researchers emphasize. But if people inhale particulate matter and it enters the lungs, they can eventually suffer from lung complaints and cardiovascular disease. People who live in polluted air are also more susceptible to respiratory infections. That can give them poorer health.

The researchers see the results as confirmation that cleaner air is important for public health. “Cleaner air cannot prevent a future epidemic that affects the respiratory tract. However, cleaner air can reduce the adverse effects of an epidemic.”

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The article is in Dutch


Tags: Hundreds additional corona deaths Netherlands due poor air quality Domestic


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