Wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs and harm the immune system, making people more susceptible to COVID-19, reports WebMD.
“What we know about wildfire smoke and particulate pollution is that exposure increases the risk for respiratory viral infections,” Pirozzi said in a university news release.
She noted that wildfires are becoming more common and severe due to warmer and drier conditions caused by climate change.
Pneumonia and bronchiolitis are among the common respiratory infections triggered by particulate pollution.
People with asthma and other lung diseases are more vulnerable to health problems from particulate pollution. And research has shown that air pollution can increase risk of infection with the new coronavirus, Pirozzi said.