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US Coronavirus: Air Pollution from Forest Fires May Make People More Vulnerable to Covid-19

“Numerous studies have shown a link between higher levels of air pollution and the increased prevalence and severity of Covid-19 cases,” said Dr. Brad Spelberg, chief medical officer of the Los Angeles County Medical Center-USC.

Smoke from forest fires can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation that can affect the immune system, said Dr. Rekha Marty, an infectious disease specialist and vice president of medical affairs at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. This inflammation can make people more at risk for lung infections.

“Whenever the lining of the lungs or airways become inflamed or damaged, it increases the potential for inhaled viral particles to stay in the lungs and cause infection,”

; Murty said.

To prevent the possible spread of coronavirus, those who remain indoors due to poor air quality should stay away from anyone who is not in their immediate household, said Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and physician. emergency medical care.

Wearing a mask early would save lives

More than 6.4 million infections have been reported in the United States and 193,016 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

About 150,000 of those lives would have been saved if more Americans had worn masks earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, a health expert said.

“If the president had said from day one that everyone was wearing a mask, we would have had about 45,000 deaths in that country,” said CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Rainer, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University.

Rainer pointed out how Germany dealt with the pandemic.

“They weren’t the best. They weren’t the worst. They were good at responding to a pandemic and had about 10,000 deaths,” Erin Burnett told CNN.

The United States has four times the population of Germany. “So we will have about 45,000 deaths in this country,” he said. “So about 150,000 people would be alive.”

He reiterated the importance of embracing masks.

“If you want to think about why we still have 40,000 cases a day and 1,000 deaths a day in this country, that’s because we’re still talking about masks,” Rainer said. “It’s so basic.”

More deaths are expected if people leave their guards

An influential model predicts a catastrophic winter with a significant increase in coronavirus deaths.

A possible scenario shows 415,090 deaths from Covid-19 to January, the Institute for Health Indicators and Assessment (IHME) at the University of Washington said in its latest forecast. The worst-case scenario is 611,000 deaths by 1 January.

“When we look forward to winter, when seasonality begins, people are obviously less vigilant, you know that the use of masks is declining, mobility is increasing in the nation, you collect all these and it looks like we will have a very deadly December ahead of us in terms of fees. for coronavirus, “IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Despite the terrible prognosis, President Donald Trump says the United States has done “really well” in fighting the virus.

“I really believe we’re going around the corner and the vaccines are right there, but we’re not even discussing vaccines and we’re not discussing therapy, we’re rounding the corner,” Trump said.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he did not agree with the president’s statements.

“We pay about 40,000 cases a day and deaths about 1,000,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He said the positive sample was increasing in some regions of the country and people were spending more time indoors due to cooler weather.

“It’s not good for the respiratory virus,” he said.

Fauci warned that the country must lower its levels “so that when you find yourself in a more precarious situation, such as autumn and winter, you will not have a situation in which you are really disadvantaged from the very beginning.”

The United States may not return to life before the coronavirus until the end of next year, Fauzi said. But he is cautiously optimistic that the vaccine could be available by the end of the year.

Amir Vera, Ben Tinker, Maggie Fox and Shelby Lynn Erdman of CNN contributed to this report.

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