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Atmospheric particulate matter may influence the transmission and evolution of SARS-CoV-2

January 12, 2021

A recent study conducted at the University of Malta Medical School, Malta, has revealed that a drop in the level of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), which are airborne pollutant particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers, in the atmosphere due to lockdown is associated with the arrival of a newer variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has eventually displaced the original virus after lockdown. The new viral variant (D614G mutant) may be able to use other types of PM, including the one that originated from tobacco smoking, as a viral vector for transmission. The study is currently available on the medRxiv* preprint server.

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