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Sarigiannis: SOS for Serious Health Problems Due to Heavy Use of Heaters and Oil

Air pollution, which is expected to represent very high levels, especially in big cities this winter, due to the energy problem, could cause major public health problems and an increase in the possibility of death of seriously ill people from the Corona virus, according to what says at the Fm Agency, Professor of Environmental and Sanitary Engineering at AUTH, and at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Pavia, Demosthenes Sarigiannis.

As he explains, this year with the extensive use of firewood and oil that the world is expected to make, we will see phenomena like those of 2012 and 2013, where due to the use of biomass, there were episodes of smog, and high concentration of suspended matter. grains.

Also read: Air pollution: no country has adhered to WHO limits

“High concentrations of suspended particles, and even the finest particles, such as those resulting from incomplete combustion of wood or oil, are harmful to health, both for the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and have been linked to problems with neurological disorders and even neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, which, according to the latest scientific announcements, have been linked to reproductive problems.

Particle exposure increases chance of death in critically ill people from Covid-19

Regarding the coronavirus, according to the professor, “what a series of epidemiological studies at prestigious institutions such as Harvard and beyond have shown, is that exposure to particles from a weak and sick person more seriously than the coronavirus increases the probability of death. So the main issue is not being seriously ill from Covid-19. At the same time, the mask that many avoid wearing protects us not only from illness but also from particulate matter.”

Purifying the air will be a real benefit to the country’s healthy balance
With regard to air disinfection, an issue that Professor Sarigianis had raised since the early stages of the epidemic, he said it would be useful to do so now.

“Since we are talking about energy, and we cannot avoid using fuels such as oil and wood, for obvious reasons faced across Europe, it is very important to protect ourselves by disinfecting the air. 50% of outdoor air pollution is transmitted to the home, office and school. If we consider that 90% of our time spent indoors, the real exposure to particulate matter, whether from pollution or the flu, or Sars-Cov2, is indoors. Air disinfection will have a real benefit to both the overall health and the health balance of the country, which means that we will avoid treatment costs and, significantly, overall, protecting patients over time.”

We are at the beginning of a new wave – the peak in the first ten days of November
Regarding the evolution of the epidemic, Mr. Sarigianis mentions that the models show that we are in the initial phase of wave development, which will relate to the development of Omicron 4 and 5 and respectively the development of “Kentauros”, slowly and in Greece.

“We’re talking about the period from October to November with its peak at the end of the first ten days of November. I don’t think this is going to create any big problems, but we have to be a little careful with it, mainly because there is a significant decrease in immunity, because of the distance of time since the development of this immunity, either by vaccination or by disease.”

Double Tests Had to be Done

It is important to do the fourth dose, especially now that we have the vaccines up to date and at the same time we can monitor the epidemiological situation, emphasizes the professor.

“In my opinion, the double tests, of those that are being done at the moment, should have been done, because the strains that are circulating now, O4, O5 and Centaurus, are the most contagious we have found. a wrong perspective that there is no problem and we don’t need to be absolutely cautious”, comments Sarigianis, about people moving around wearing masks, without a mask or generally acting as if the epidemic doesn’t exist.

Mr. Sarigiannis answers the question of whether the virus will become epidemic: “I said before that it is very beneficial to vaccinate populations where there are large vaccination gaps, such as India and Sub-Saharan Africa. done, we will see the emergence of new variants AND pandemic waves will be generated. Obviously, at some point there will be an ecological balance for the virus, which means we won’t see many dangerous or more virulent variants. But until we vaccinate this type of population, that moment will be too late.”

Flu and Corona Virus Coexist

Regarding the coexistence between the flu and the coronavirus, Sarigianis says it can cause problems, “because it actually damages the airways. The strains currently prevalent are in the upper respiratory tract, so the targets of these two viruses, influenza and Sars-Cov-2 , converge. This is why it is very important to get a flu shot, especially for the weak and elderly, in order to better protect against serious illness.”

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