Italian Scientists have now detected traces of the coronavirus in particles of air pollution. The Coronavirus has been detected on particles of air pollution by Italian scientists looking into whether the illness could be carried this way over long distances and potentially increase the infection rate.
Preliminary work from researchers in Italy found a gene highly specific to Covid-19 in multiple outdoor air pollution samples. It raises a suggestion that higher levels of particle pollution could lead to higher rates of infection, which would go to explain for example why regions of northern Italy are among the most infected in Europe.
The Italian scientists collected the samples from one urban area in Italy and one industrial site in Bergamo, a city in the alpine Lombardy region.
After using blind testing at an independent laboratory, they discovered the gene-specific to coronavirus in many samples and have now called for further investigation. Leonardo Setti at the University of Bologna in Italy, who led the work, said: ‘I am a scientist and I am worried when I don’t know.
If verified, the discovery would go some way to explain the rapid spread of the virus across the world as sometimes a direct route of infection could not be correlated.
The results of the research were immediately sent to the WHO for evaluation, meanwhile, more detailed tests are being carried out.