Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

Follow the World Health Organization's instructions to reduce your risk of infection:

1/ Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

2/ When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw issue away immediately and wash hands.

3/ Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough.

Ashish "Protect our healthcare workers" Jha+ Your Authors @ashishkjha Physician, researcher, and advocate for the notion that an ounce of data is worth a thousand pounds of opinion. Director @harvardgh. Soon, Dean @healthybrown Apr. 07, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

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There are two pieces of data out today that are very troubling and one may be related to the other.

The first is that African-Americans are both getting COVID19 at higher rates -- but also dying -- at much, much higher rates.

We don't fully understand why.....

Why higher infection rates?

Plausible explanations include less ability to social distance (less ability to work from home based on type of job, more use of public transport, etc.) which increases risk of infection.

By why higher death rate given infection?

One explanation has been higher rates of chronic disease...which I think is likely a real contributor

But another one that has gotten less attention is air pollution.

And that's the second piece of data out today

.@francescadomin8 et al, find (caution...its a pre-print) a large association between air pollution & COVID mortality

People living in neighborhoods with more polluted air have much higher likelihood of death

paper:  https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/covid-pm 

in @nytimes  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/climate/air-pollution-coronavirus-covid.html 

We know from tons of studies that African-Americans are more likely to be exposed to polluted air (they breathe in, on average, air that is 50% more polluted than non-AA).

And that might be one important part of the explanation for why we might be seeing higher death rates

So what do we do?

First, remember pandemics lay bare deep inequities in our society

For now, we need to support people to stay at home and get people into care early

But we need a long term strategy to curb air pollution which disproportionately harms under-served communities


You can follow @ashishkjha.



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