High pollen count linked to coronavirus infection rates

Coronavirus, Europe, Finland, Health, Infection, Science, Transmission

A study has found that high pollen counts, partially affected by air humidity and temperature, contributed to a more than 40 percent increase in coronavirus infection frequency.

Exposure to pollen weakens the immune system’s defence reactions against certain seasonal viruses.

This means that exposure to pollen can impair the body’s ability to fight viruses, according to the University of Turku and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), which issued a joint statement about the study’s findings on Tuesday.

The organisations noted that Finland’s pollen season is about to begin and that people should limit their exposure to it.

“It’s important to pay particular attention to times when pollen concentrations are high. Exposure to pollen should be reduced, for example, by avoiding outdoor activities when pollen concentrations are high or by protecting the respiratory tract,” said Mikhail Sofiev, an FMI research professor who participated in the analysis of the research data.

In most cases, infection frequency increased four days after the peak pollen concentration, which roughly corresponds to the incubation period of the coronavirus.

YLE.FI report


Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

** This post was originally published on March 9, 2021 **