This was one of the aspects of the Coronavirus I couldn’t understand initially.  As a Functional Medicine Practitioner I like to understand the root cause.  What do China, Iran and northern Italy have in common that supports the spread of the Coronavirus?

It turns out that the countries with the initially highest numbers of infected people were China, Iran, and northern Italy.  What they have in common is that they are also areas with the highest levels of air pollution and smokers, two factors that increase the likelihood of you contracting Coronavirus-19.  Italy also has a large elderly population and a large number of Chinese people working in the fashion industry.  The New York Times reports (1):

Chinese laborers, first a few immigrants, then tens of thousands, began settling in Prato in the late 1980s. They transformed the textile hub into a low-end garment manufacturing capital…

The city is now home to the largest concentration of Chinese in Europe, some legal, many more not. Here in the heart of Tuscany, Chinese laborers work round the clock in some 3,200 businesses making low-end clothes, shoes and accessories, often with materials imported from China… 

My thoughts are, wherever you have a large amount of Chinese labourers working long hours, you have poor working conditions causing ill health in which a virus will spread very quickly.

The New American explains further the close ties between northern Italy and Wuhan (2):

… with “China offering one of the cheapest manufacturing options in the world, it came as little surprise that most of these fashion brands were working with China,” the Times of India reported Thursday. “A large number of these Italian fashion and garment houses had outsourced their manufacturing to Chinese labour, specifically in Wuhan.”

“Italy also has direct flights from Wuhan and reports suggest over 100,000 Chinese citizens were working in Italian factories…”

Italy didn’t ban flights from China until January 31st, a month after China first announced the virus to the world.

The reason for the high elderly population in Italy, who are more at risk because of their age, is:

Moreover, the Wuhan virus (WV) is like the flu in that it most seriously affects the elderly, and nearly 60 percent of Northern Italy’s population “is aged 40 and over, of which about 23% is over 65 years of age. This puts nearly one-fourth of the population at grave risk…”

..This demographic phenomenon is due to Italy’s low fertility rate, which in some parts of the nation dips below one child per woman (replacement level is 2.1). So, sadly, part of the reason Italy is experiencing great WV-caused death is that it is a dying nation (demographically).

A higher elderly population, air pollution, heavy smoking, poor working conditions in northern Italy for thousands of Chinese workers and Italy’s close trade links with China helps explaining the northern Italy explosion of COVID-19.

Iran also has close ties to China having agreed a deal in 2019 whereby China will purchase Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemicals at a discounted price in return for Chinese investment in sanction-hit Iran (3).

In my next blog I will make suggestions as to the best steps to take to support your immune system against a viral infection.