- Dr. Yael Bar-Zeev has recently warned that that smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can increase the risk of contracting the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).
- According to the public health doctor, smoking weakens a person’s immune system and so they can be vulnerable to the said virus.
Israeli expert Dr. Yael Bar-Zeev has warned all smokers about the possibilities of contracting the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19). She explained that smoking can weaken a person’s immune system and thus increases the risk of contracting different kinds of viruses and bacteria in the respiratory system.
Bar-Zeev also cited the coronavirus situation in Wuhan, China where mortality rate appeared to be higher in men than women. This, according to her, is due to the higher numbers of male smokers which accounted for up to50% compared with just 2% female smokers.
“Here’s what we already know: In a small study of about 80 coronavirus patients, those who smoked were 14 times more likely to have serious illness,” said Bar-Zeev, who is currently a public health doctor in Hebrew University’s Braun School of Public Health and Community Health.
She explained further that even before the coronavirus outbreak, smoking already causes serious illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, and even diabetes. All those illnesses have higher risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.
She cited one 38-year-old patient who tested positive of the COVID-19 after contracting the virus when he was driving a group of Greek tourists. Reports stated that the severity of his condition was linked to his smoking habits, despite him being relatively young.
“Smoking weakens the immune system in general, and increases the risk of getting viruses and bacteria in the respiratory system. Smokers are likely to have a greater risk of corona disease and a more severe morbidity and morality risk,” Bar-Zeev added.
Bar-Zeev said the coronavirus outbreak caused all of us some uncertainties and concerns. She likewise urged smokers to start quitting the vice.
“This information about the danger of smoking and coronavirus is stressful, it also allows you to act. If up to now, you’ve been dithering or thinking about quitting, now is the time to try,” Bar-Zeev said.
Watch Dr. Sharon Nyatsanza speak about why smokers are more vulnerable to COVID-19:
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