This article was originally published here
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Feb 23. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-12878-x. Online ahead of print.
Global warming and air pollution affect the transmission pathway and the survival of viruses, altering the human immune system as well. The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically highlights the key roles of climate and air chemistry in viral epidemics. The elongated form of the Italian peninsula and the two major islands (the largest in Europe) is a perfect case study to assess some of these key roles, as the fate of the virus is mirroring the industrialization in the continental part of our country. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5), geography, and climate explain what is happening in Italy and support cleaner air actions to address efficiently other outbreaks. Besides the environmental factors, future works should also address the genetic difference among individuals to explain the spatial variability of the human response to viral infections.