People who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution are 11 per cent MORE likely to die if they catch Covid-19, study warns

  • American researchers compared Covid-19 death rates with PM2.5 pollution 
  • Small increase in PM2.5 levels is related to significant increase in mortality rate 
  • A 1μg/m3 increase in the level of the pollutant caused a 115 spike in death rate

People who live in an area with high air pollution are more likely to die after contracting the coronavirus, a study has found.

The damning verdict comes from researchers at Harvard University and has implications for public health protocols around the world. 

It focused on tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometres in size, a dangerous pollutant which is spewed out from various sources, including vehicle exhausts.  

They found that a small increase of just one microgram per cubic metre (1μg/m3) increases the chance of death following infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19, by 11 per cent.  

Pictured, the level of PM2.5 across the US. The average is 8.4μg/m3 but it ranges from as low as zero to as high as 12