Because of the Coronavirus we have learned to keep our distance, mouth and nose protection has become a constant companion in our lives. Extensive cleaning of our hands has now become a routine.
Steep Learning Curve About The Pandemic
Our level of knowledge about the Coronavirus has also changed enormously – and thus improved. What a learning curve in such a short time! New study results are published every day, we learn more and more about possible routes of infection and the course of the disease – also about who is affected by a severe course of the disease.
Increased Numbers Of Smokers Among The Seriously Ill?
Smokers were identified early on as a possible risk for such a severe course of the disease: Initial studies indicated that there was an increased proportion of smokers among the seriously ill. In the months that followed, studies were published again in which samples of patients even found fewer smokers than in the population. Some interpreted these results to mean that smoking might even protect against infection with the virus. However, this assumption could not be confirmed. Probably more difficulties are responsible that comparatively few patients reported smoking in these studies: Quite a number of them, especially the seriously ill, have actually not smoked since the onset of the disease and could therefore have replied that they were do not smoke. In addition: Particularly in emergencies, the query “smoker or not” is more difficult or has no priority in the admission and care of patients.
Protects Nicotine Against Coronavirus?
And then there was the hope of a research that nicotine patches could possibly protect against infection with the virus. This news made waves. However, it was often overlooked that the report was firstly about a study that has yet to be carried out and secondly the associated report was not published, but on an online source. On such websites, the texts can be read and commented on – especially by researchers – and in some cases they are then adjusted by the authors.
Does Smoking Produce Entry Gates For The Virus?
The media paid less attention to indications from studies that smoking produces a certain enzyme to a greater extent, which is located on the cell surface in the lower respiratory tract and is considered the gateway for the virus. The increased enzyme, in addition to a damaged lung, could be one reason why smokers get more seriously ill. But this connection also has to be confirmed and proven in further studies.