The shower of stars caused by Halley’s Comet will be seen at night and early in the morning of this October 21 and 22

The Orionid meteor shower reaches its peak in the early morning of Wednesday, October 21 to Thursday, October 22, 2020. At Orionids they are known as “meteor shower“Although they are not, because in reality they are the remains of Halley’s Comet. This object passes through the Earth every 75 or 76 years, the last time it was seen in 1986 and according to specialists it will be possible to observe it again in 2062.

But as the icy kite turn the Sol, leaves a trail of debris that the Earth passes through each year. These tiny comet fragments, some as small as a grain of sand, enter Earth’s atmosphere, becoming meteors. The friction of air resistance causes them to heat up, creating a bright trail and burning commonly known as a shooting star.

These meteors are named after Orionids by the constellation of Orion. From Earth it gives the impression that it is a falling star shower. According to NASA, the Orionid meteors have a great brightness, as well as a great speed that can reach up to 66 kilometers per second. What makes it one of the most intense and fastest meteor showers of the year, points out the ABC portal.

“You can see pieces of Halley’s Comet during the Eta Aquarids (in May) and the Orionid meteor shower (in October and November),” the NASA meteorite expert told Bill Cooke. On the night of this 21 and early morning of this October 22, 2020, with a Moon approaching its crescent phase, the best time for observation will be the second part of the night, that is to say, early Thursday morning says the expert.

Where to look

Orionid meteors are visible from anywhere on Earth and they can be seen anywhere in the sky. They take their name because they seem to radiate from the constellation Orion, also known as that of the hunter. But it is not advisable to look directly at this place “because the meteors near the radiant have short paths and are more difficult to see, so you must look away from Orion,” says Cooke.

The National Geographic Institute of Spain says that “the best time for observation will be the second part of the night, once the moon has set.”

As is the case with most evening events observation of the sky, the Light pollution can obstruct the view of the rain from Orionids. If possible, stay away from city ​​Lights, which can hinder the show. Binoculars and telescopes will not improve eyesight, because they are designed to see static objects in the sky.

The lucky ones with clear skies will be able to see some very fast and bright Orionids.


Starting Tonight, Watch Triple Moon-Jupiter-Saturn Conjunctions in the Indonesian Sky A number phenomenon sky will accompany and decorate your evening today, Thursday (24/9/2020) to Saturday (26/9/2020).

Among them are bandage phase early, southern maximum declination Month than triple conjunction between Months- JupiterSaturn, who will decorate the sky Indonesia.

Third celestial phenomenon in Indonesia You can see this with your eyes directly and use an optical instrument, provided that the sky is clear from light pollution and sunny weather. The following is a more detailed explanation.

1. Bandage phase early, 24 September 2020

Based on a written statement from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency ( Eight), this early perimeter is a state where the Moon is 378,549 km from Earth or geocentric.

Also read: Tonight, Mercury-Spica Conjunction and September Equinox Decorate Indonesia’s Skies

In this case, the Moon is located in the constellation Sagittarius near manzilah Naáin or teapot.

The Moon will rise at around noon from the Southeastern direction, then culminate in the South after setting The Sun and the Moon set from the West-Southwest direction after midnight.

2.The maximum declination south of the Moon, 25 September 2020

The southern maximum declination means that the Moon is located at the southernmost position of the celestial equator, as the December solstice on the Sun.

The moon will have a maximum declination of the South at 02.10 WIB with a geocentric distance of 283,215 km, 57.72 percent illumination and a wide angle of 18 arc minutes.

NASA / Fernando Rey Triple conjunction illustration

If you want to see the view from the southern maximum declination of the Moon early in the morning, the Moon will be located in the constellation Sagittarius near the manzilah Na’aim (teapot).

The exact location is above the horizon since 11.50 WIB, Thursday (24/9/2020) until 01.15 WIB, Friday (25/9/2020) from the East to West-Southwest.

3. Moon-Jupiter-Saturn conjunction triple, September 24-26, 2020

Starting tonight, you can witness or observe triple conjunctions or parallels between Moon-Jupiter and Saturn.

For three consecutive days from September 24 to 26 at night, the Moon will be in line with Jupiter and Saturn.

Also read: There are 4 Celestial Phenomena Today, Triple Conjunction to the Occultation of Mars

First (24/9/2020), the Moon is in the direction of Selatah-Menenggara at dusk. The moon is located south of Jupiter and Saturn is located in the southeast direction.

On Friday (25/9/2020), the Moon will be in the Southeast along with Jupiter and Saturn, which are still near the constellation Sagittarius at dusk.

Meanwhile, the next day on Saturday (9/26/2020), the Moon had shifted towards the East Menaging near the constellation Capricornus at dusk. Meanwhile, Jupiter and Saturn are still near the constellation Sagittarius.


“Luz del Correntoso”, the phenomenon that frightens a town – News

The “Witness R” is a young man who lives in Hernandarias, province of Between rivers, which in 2017, when he was 13 years old, -according to him- a light that they call “the Correntoso one” teleported him at least a kilometer.

In the coastal town on the banks of the ParanaEveryone talks about the phenomenon that scares some, and there are those who say “good luck.”


In the winter of 2017, “Witness R” wanted to enter a room at the back of his house and a powerful light lifted him a meter from the ground and after feeling “a joke”, he appeared in moments 15 blocks away, totally disoriented, in a bus station.

/ Embedded Code Home // End Embed Code /

“That luminous ball came over me and I don’t remember anything else”affirmed the protagonist of that case, although there are those who affirm that the light has been seen for more than 60 years by rural workers, fishermen and islanders.

“We believe that in Hernandarias there is a portal”, assures Gustavo Fernández, member of the IPEC (Planner Institute of Close Encounters) to the journalist Leandro Vesco of The nation.

/ Embedded Code Home /

/ End Embed Code /

Even the local police chief, Diego Wasinger, assured that by analyzing street cameras it was found that there was no movement of the boy, or of cars on all the roads he could take until he reached the point where he reappeared.


“The child does not see a ship, for us it is not a phenomenon UFO, but is more related to a parapsychological type. The light chose him and not his brother, “said Fernández, who said that they have been investigating the case for two years.

“We have done dowsing and it has marked us with the presence of energy,” says Emanuel Giudice, also a member of IPEC, and a neighbor of Hernandarias.

“We were able to see it and photograph it,” clarifies Fernández. One year after the “Witness R” episode, they did some important field work.

/ Embedded Code Home // End Embed Code /

They sailed in a boat the route that is assigned to the light and in the middle of the night, they saw it, according to them.

“It is clear to us that there is no conventional explanation,” he says. In the site where it appeared there are no houses, no telecommunications antennas. “Because of how it moved it is impossible that it was a celestial body,” he said.


Meteor or lightning? Phenomenon intrigues the inhabitants of Puerto Cisnes | Investigation and Reports

At curfew, around 10:40 p.m. on Friday, August 14, and with almost all the people in their homes, a loud noise was felt and a great light came through the windows, which, for a second, alerted the entire Aysen commune.

“The night became day for a second”said Francisco Espinosa, a civil builder, who has lived in the area for four years.

A video of a few seconds, recorded from the security cameras of an office, a few meters from a dock, offered an incredible sequence: an explosive collision with the earth of a light beam, rarely seen before.

Then it went viral and, on Friday and Saturday, there was talk of the almost certain fall of a meteorite, with versions provided by national astronomers.

However, after a few days, doubts about the phenomenon began and it was the Patagonia Ecosystem Research Center (CEIP) that placed a test to contradict the space scientists.

A satellite image of that night, showing the lightning strike in the extreme south of Chile, was the one that installed the doubt: Meteorite or lightning? What fell in the vicinity of Puerto Cisnes on the night of August 14?

Here, the expert debate….

Meteor shower

Ricardo Demarco, an astronomer and former director of the Astronomy career at the University of Concepción (UdeC), reviewed the sequence of images.

The first thing he says is that quality is not “good”, but, even so, it indicates that it would be a meteorite.

AND…his explanation is as follows.

First, he argues that these effects are objects that enter the earth’s atmosphere, rocky bodies, which are called bolides, rocks, of different sizes.

“What you see, the effect in the sky, is a meteor. If it really impacted, you have to see on the site, in the place, if it really was like that and if there are fragments of the body. Many times there is not, because they completely disintegrate with the friction of the atmosphere and it is not possible to speak, strictly, of a meteorite ”, adds Demarco.

Regarding the video, he points out that “what is seen is consistent with a fairly important meteor.”

“This was more or less big and they say it was with sound ”, he adds.

Demarco explains that, on Earth, in space today there is a phenomenon known as a meteor shower, on the one hand, called “Delta Aquarids”, which runs from July 8 to August 23 and there are also the “Perseids”, but they range from July 17 to August 24.

Cometary bodies have passed in the solar system, each time they pass, and which have periodic orbits around the sun, each time they lose mass. They are like crumbs that they leave on their way. These pieces, when detached from the central body, follow the same trajectory and they are circling around the Sun “, Add.

The penquista scientist describes that the Earth, as it revolves around the Sun, will periodically go “Intercepting these roads” of what comets leave behind and the material that passes by feels the attraction and falls on our ground.

“Those crumbs were what probably fell.”adds Demarco.


Francisco Espinosa He explains that the noise that night was loud.

The glass rumbled. We were having a gathering in the courtyard and we thought it was an explosion, ”he says.

“But, after 20 minutes, a video came out of the security camera of a salmon farm. AND it was deduced that it was a meteorite “, contributes.

Regarding the option of lightning or lightning, Espinosa assures that “if so, it was a great, but a great lightning”.

From the Maritime Captaincy of Puerto Cisnes, NCO L of the Navy, Christian Reyes, also in conversation with BioBioChile, reports a “Luminous phenomenon” which was seen on Friday night, which did not generate consequences at sea, at least he was not alerted that this was the case.

However, there is no evidence to ensure what type of phenomenon was seen in Puerto Cisnes.

The same says the FACH, from where they made sure that nothing was reported to them “unusual” in the zone.

Photo that clarifies?

The image above is from satellite GOES 16 NOAA and the delivery by Luis Gómez, resident researcher at the Patagonia Ecosystem Research Center (CEIP), to affirm that what he saw was lightning.

From the photograph, specify in the lower blue point That you can see.

“The first impression that the satellite made, in a section that it has to detect lightning, as part of its products, is that on Friday 14 at 22:39 hours lightning struck in the sector called Río Cuervo. That is close between Puerto Aysén and Puerto Cisnes ”, he adds.

“What we saw is that by the direction of the wind and by the type of valley, that is there, is that the sound has propagated towards that area and it is very likely that this luminosity has been seen (in Puerto Cisnes), a product of this lightning that fell ”, he explains.

In any case, the same researcher adds something else: “there is a history that this satellite has also detected meteorites. That is, there are probabilities that it could be a lightning bolt or a meteorite “.

Notwithstanding the above, Gómez puts another argument on the table.

“In that area, which is very wide, for a few hours a no lesser amount of lightning strikes, electrical storms, product of convective activity. So what I believe is that most likely it was lightning and that they have interpreted it as a meteorite at the time, because the sound was very strong ”, he adds.

Despite his version, Gómez assures that it is worth investigating, through a trip or with a satellite tracking, when the weather conditions are accurate and allow the best visibility.

“We have the exact location”, closes the researcher.


Open investigation

Meanwhile, the science seremi of the Austral macrozone, Pamela Santibanez, confirmed to Biobiochile that his portfolio articulated the links so that scientists from the north and south of the country could analyze the phenomenon.

But, the astronomer Demarco reaffirms: “In the image there is information. You have to look at the shape of the flash. When there is lightning or lightning, the whole sky lights up, almost even and it is a very fast effect. If you watch the video of Puerto Cisnes, you will see that there is a gradient of luminosity and the flash starts first and increases, slowly, and quickly reaches a maximum and then leaves again ”.

Open debate, evidence to be found. Apparently there is still more, but much more, “seeing is believing”, because with what has been analyzed, lightning or meteorite, doubt persists.

Our comments are a space for conversation and debate. We welcome constructive criticism, but we reserve the right to remove comments or to block users aggressive, offensive The abusive.


The universe will end with stellar fireworks – Space & Astronomy

A final with a bang, indeed, with bangs: in billions and billions of years the universe could shut down in a spectacular way, illuminated by a series of explosions triggered by stellar relics called black dwarfs. To trace this pyrotechnic scenario, very different from that of the slow and subdued extinguishing hypothesized so far, is the physicist Matt Caplan of the University of Illinois, author of a study to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Current models indicate that in the very distant future (in a number of years expressed as 1 followed by a hundred zeros), stars will stop being born, galaxies will become dark and even black holes will evaporate, leaving only energy and subatomic particles. The expansion of space will bring the temperature close to absolute zero, marking the thermal death of the universe. In this scenario so dark, cold and bleak, however, there could be a surprise: to organize it would be the white dwarfs, stars like the Sun that have burned all the fuel and have lost their outer layers.

Artistic representation of a black dwarf (source: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

“They are essentially like pans taken out of the stove,” says Caplan. “They are destined to cool down more and more”, becoming black dwarfs. The fact that they are cold, however, does not mean that the nuclear reactions within them have ceased. According to Caplan’s calculations, in fact, white dwarfs with a mass slightly higher than that of the Sun could continue to fuel nuclear reactions due to their very high density. In the long run, these reactions would end up causing a strong instability that would lead to collapse and a colossal explosion equal to that of supernovae.

“This study theorizes a phenomenon that should occur in a difficult time to imagine, much larger than the age of the universe itself, but it is in any case of interest because we know that any phenomenon allowed by the laws of physics, in a fairly large universe and in quite a long time, sooner or later it will happen “, comments Massimo Della Valle, research director of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) at the Capodimonte Observatory. “If it really happens – continues the expert – this show will not be able to have spectators: due to the expansion of the universe, the galaxies and the remains of the stars will be so far apart that these explosions will take place in total solitude”.


Chinese journalist called the shortcomings of Russian women

The Chinese spoke about the reasons why foreigners do not seek to marry Russian women, despite their illustrious beauty

Chinese journalist called the shortcomings of Russian womenPhoto: Andrey KOPALOV

Resize text:

Chinese journalist Portal Sohu listed several reasons why foreigners do not seek to marry Russian girls, despite their beauty.

According to the author of the article, many stereotypes have developed around the Russians, among them the tradition of making domestic bears or a love of vodka. However, he called the most mysterious phenomenon of Russian women, attracting foreign visitors with their appearance.

“Many of them dream of marrying a Russian beauty, and there are many Chinese men among them,” the journalist says, but immediately notes that such marriages are not frequent.

The Chinese gives three reasons that can explain such statistics. The author declares that the “cheeky character” of Russian women, as well as their love for booze and sloppiness in trifles, are not suitable for Chinese grooms. In addition, he reports the unwillingness of Russians to “put their soul into truly important matters.”

“They like to drink, believing that in this way they release their“ I ”and show a true character. In addition, they do everything through their sleeves, are not too accurate in the details, and do not put their soul into truly important matters, ”the journalist believes.

In concluding his article, he notes that the desire to marry should not be based on appearance, but rather on the basis of her character and understanding.

Recall that earlier, a Chinese blogger confessed his love for Russian cuisine and called Russian dishes, the taste of which is “impossible to forget.” So, he called goulash “a reflection of the soul of the Russian people”



Putin declared Russia’s ability to “survive everything” and “overcome everything” :: Society :: RBC

If a pandemic occurred in the 1990s, “it would be very difficult,” said Vladimir Putin. According to him, “Russia will survive everything, it will be able to survive and survive”, but the question is what price will have to pay

Photo: Sergey Bobylev / TASS

Russia is able to survive any crisis. This was announced by President Vladimir Putin in the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin “on the channel” Russia 1 “.

“The country you built for 20 years turned out to be ready, stable in the conditions of this storm associated with the coronavirus. If this happened to us in the 1990s, in the early 2000s even, would we have survived, resisted? ” – asked the head of state the author of the program, Pavel Zarubin.

“I think that Russia will survive everything, everything will be able to survive and survive. The only question is at what cost, ”Putin replied. He noted that, if you recall the 1990s, “it would be very difficult.”

Putin assessed the situation with unemployment and inflation in Russia

Photo: Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

“In the 1990s, humanitarian aid was sent to us not in connection with technological disasters or some natural phenomena, but as the poorest country in the world so that we would not die of hunger. This is what we got, here we are, ”Putin said. He added that without external loans in Russia it was impossible to pay salaries. “And they didn’t pay for months, and then for six months they didn’t even pay the military.”


it affects not only the lungs, but the whole body

The first 10 days after the onset of symptoms of the disease, the 38-year-old American was feeling quite well. He was not at risk; he had no chronic diseases.

– The man was examined, the disease was mild. The patient had a slight cough. Therefore, he was sent home for treatment, ”says the head of the Department of Vascular Surgery at Westchester Medical Center Sean Wengerter.

And then the incredible happened.

One morning, a man woke up with icy and numb legs. The body was constrained by terrible weakness; there was not even the strength to get out of bed.

The examination showed that the patient had aortic occlusion – a large blood clot formed in the main artery at the place where the artery diverged in two directions – to the right and left leg. Because of this clot, blood enriched with oxygen did not enter the iliac arteries.

“This is extremely dangerous.” From this can die from 20% to 50% of patients, – notes Vangerter. – But such things are not typical for 38-year-olds.

An emergency operation to remove a blood clot could save the patient’s life. But doctors working with patients with COVID-19 are everywhere faced with rather strange and frightening phenomena in infected patients. For example, the formation of blood clots (actually blood clots) of various sizes throughout the body, renal failure, inflammation of the heart muscle and malfunctions of the immune system.

“Coronavirus occurs in each patient in its own way,” notes Scott Brackenridge, associate professor of emergency surgery at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. – In some cases, the patient has a problem with breathing, in others, the internal organs begin to fail. In children, the immune system as a whole begins to rebel.

Coronavirus is not just a respiratory diseasePhoto: Ivan MAKEEV


A new type of coronavirus is considered to be a respiratory virus, although it is already becoming obvious – the infection affects the entire human body. The most common symptoms are fever, pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

In this case, the virus attacks some organs directly. First of all, the mucous membrane of blood vessels, which entails unnatural coagulation of blood.

– COVID-19 provokes a local inflammatory reaction that leads to the formation of blood clots, – explains Wengerter. – This is due to the direct effect of the virus on the arteries.

A number of doctors recorded strokes in young patients with coronavirus, as well as the formation of blood clots in the lungs. Blood clots were found even in the smallest vessels.

“Since each organ feeds on blood vessels, and the virus attacks them first and foremost, we end up with damage to internal organs,” adds Dr. Scott Brackenridge.

Another serious symptom that is observed in some patients who become ill with the new coronavirus is the “co-fingers.” The infected toes swell, becoming red or purple. It is possible that the reason for this is blockage of blood vessels. But doctors say that usually this does not have serious consequences.

Kawasaki Syndrome

One of the most alarming reactions to COVID-19 is observed in children. It has already been named as a children’s multisystem inflammatory syndrome. In newYork Doctors have identified more than 100 cases.

This syndrome is characterized by a rather long fever, inflammatory process, malfunction of one or more internal organs, as well as the general condition, which is usually observed with shock. Pediatricians also compare these symptoms with the syndrome. Kawasaki.

Kawasaki syndrome is a rare disease that affects children aged 3 to 10 years. It is characterized by damage to the medium and small arteries, thrombosis, the formation of aneurysms and rupture of the vascular wall. Cases of infection are rare. However, recently, doctors have noted an increase in the number of patients with this syndrome.

Both childhood multisystem inflammatory syndrome and Kawasaki syndrome lead to an overly aggressive immune system response to coronavirus. This may be accompanied by inflammation of the blood vessels and heart muscle.


However, scientists note that coronavirus is not able to cause a strong immune response, but, on the contrary, suppress the entire immune system. And this can allow the infection to freely attack the internal organs.

Partly this theory was confirmed by Chinese experts, led by Dr. Zhang Zhang. Scientists analyzed samples of immune cells taken from the lungs of 9 patients infected with coronavirus. The results of the study showed an abnormally high level of leukocytes – macrophages and neutrophils responsible for the destruction of harmful pathogen – in severe patients. At the same time, these patients had a rather low level of CD8 T cells, which are called killer cells. They are responsible for killing virus-infected cells.

But doctors are reassuring, noting that they have drugs that can thin the blood, and also help the work of white blood cells that resist infection.


Sergey Mardan: In the USA, the clinic would simply go broke if the ventilator apparatus exploded and people died


Facebook launches option for video calls with up to 50 people without time limit – Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra

Facebook revealed that it is launching a tool called Messenger Rooms with which users will be able to make video calls with up to 50 people. This is the latest move by the social network ‘due to the popularity, in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, of other applications such as its Zoom or Houseparty with similar group video contact capabilities.

The news was given this Friday by the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg through Facebook Live.

Live with Mark Zuckerberg

Tune in here on April 24th at 11am PT, as Mark Zuckerberg goes live to share some new product updates we’ve been working on, to help everyone feel more connected with each other even while we’re apart.

Posted by Facebook on Friday, April 24, 2020

According to our sister station CNBC, the tool will be free will allow Facebook and Messenger users to create group video calls of up to 50 people at a time, increasing the current limit of the Messenger app from 8 people.

According to CNBC, the 50-person limit for Messenger Rooms will not be available immediately. Facebook users will see a lower limit at launch, but it will soon rise to 50 people, a company spokesperson told CNBC. The limit will vary for users at launch, the spokesperson said.

By comparison, Zoom allows up to 100 people to video chat for free for up to 40 minutes. Houseparty supports up to eight people.

Video calls in Messenger Rooms have no time limit and will include features like augmented reality filters that allow people to add masks to their faces. Video call hosts will also be able to block calls and delete users. Facebook and Messenger users can create Messenger rooms, and they can invite anyone to join, including people who don’t have a Facebook account.

Messenger Rooms will begin rolling out to users on Friday, and will expand to more regions in the coming weeks. “You can start and share video calls on Facebook through your wall, Groups and Events, so it is easy for people to visit it. We will soon add ways to create video call rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal too”, explained the social network.

WhatsApp also expands capacity

Facebook also announced that it is doubling the limit of people in WhatsApp video calls from four to eight people.

In addition, the company is introducing a video calling feature on Facebook Dating so that users of that service can have virtual dating.

Zoom improves your security

The video conferencing platform Zoom, which has achieved a sudden popularity success with the COVID-19 pandemic, announced this week an update to its software, where, it says, it has improved the encryption system to respond to criticism received for lack of security.

The San Jose, California-based firm explained in a statement that Zoom version 5.0 adds support for encryption with 256-bit AES encryption GCM, providing “increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering. ”

The update available this week will also allow the account administrator to choose which regions of the data center their meetings and webinars use for real-time traffic at the account, group, or user level.

On the other hand, the company has grouped all the options related to security in the same icon, which is accessed through the menu bar of the digital meeting, the “waiting room” option has been activated by default and allows videoconference hosts report a user whose participation has not been allowed.

“I am proud to achieve this step in our 90 day plan, but this is only the beginning. We will earn the trust of our customers and bring them happiness with our firm goal of providing the safest platform, ”said Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan.

Zoom’s success and sudden growth as a result of the increase in teleworking and digital encounters following the confinement orders for the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by many complaints about failures in communication security and little respect for the privacy of users.

One of the most common problems that its users are encountering is that Internet users who have not been invited appear by surprise in teleconferences, a phenomenon baptized as “zoombombing” and which has caused educational institutions, governments and companies to stop using the platform. and, in the case of Google, their employees have even been banned.


Is it true that nicotine users contract Covid-19 less?


Numerous case studies demonstrate this unequivocal : smokers who get Covid-19 have a risk greatly increased to develop severe forms of the disease. In this work, we find that the proportion of smokers is two to four times higher in severely ill patients than in those with a moderate form of the disease.

On the other hand, several publications relayed since the beginning of April report a counterintuitive phenomenon: in several countries, the proportion of smokers infected with SARS-CoV-2 would be lower than the proportion of smokers at regional or national level. The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, recently mentioned this data.

In France, works being published conducted on a limited number of patients at the Pitié-Salpétrière, as well as a study in a school environment in Crépy-en-Valois (prepublished this April 23), also reported this statistical trend.

Many potential limits

Note now that the link between smoking status and propensity to be infected does not appear in all research. So in a recent study published in the Jama, involving 5,700 New York patients hospitalized for Covid-19, the proportion of smokers was analogous to that observed in the regional population.

The first studies were met with skepticism, not without reason. Indeed, many of these works have sometimes significant biases.

First limitation present in all studies (with the exception of French studies): the age parameter of hospitalized patients. Indeed, a significant proportion of patients with severe forms of Covid-19 are over the age of 65. The prevalence of smokers decreases very strongly with age (for example, in France, 65-75 year olds smoke 2.5 times less than the general population).

In the study conducted at Pitié-Salpêtrière, taking into account the age and sex of the patients, smokers nevertheless appeared to be four times less likely than non-smokers to be Covid +. A rate observed both in hospitalized patients and in patients treated on an outpatient basis. However, in order to draw more solid conclusions, these results should have been put into perspective with the smoking profile of patients who usually attend this hospital, at the same periods in previous years.

Another parameter that seems to be excluded from most analyzes: the socio-economic profile of the groups studied, which can strongly influence the expected proportion of smokers. A limitation mentioned by the authors of the French study, who established their calculations “Assuming that the population studied who lives in a limited area around a Parisian hospital has the same smoking habits as the French population in general”, and who note that “Healthcare workers were overrepresented in the outpatient group due to routine workplace testing when they became symptomatic”. The study conducted at Crépy-en-Valois seems to take this parameter into account. And its results are consistent with the Pitié Salpêtrière study.

Third important pitfall: the quality of the information collected is not always there … far from it. In some studies used by epidemiologists to conduct their analyzes, the smoking status of the sickest Covid + patients was simply not informed. Commentators have also noted that one of these studies considered individuals to be “non-smokers” less than 30 packages per year – preventing any comparison with national statistics which relate to all cigarette consumers.

For its part, the study conducted at Pitié-Salpêtrière seems to consider as “former smoker” any person who had quit smoking at the time of his hospitalization … without mentioning the hypothesis that patients may have stopped smoking because of the first Covid-19 symptoms! A point which would considerably influence the results. Requested by CheckNews, Zahir Amoura, author of this work, has not yet commented on this point.

Is the phenomenon biologically plausible?

The interpretation of these statistics, as well as the extent of the associated phenomenon, are still questionable.

Researchers, however, have begun to explore the hypothesis of a direct causal link between smoking status and primary SARS-CoV-2 infection. The question arises indeed: from a physiological point of view, is it plausible that lungs exposed to tobacco are less permeable to this coronavirus? Could nicotine be involved in the phenomenon?

A possible link with the ACE2 receiver?

SARS-CoV-2 infects cells by binding to the ACE2 receptor, abundant on the surface, in particular, the cells of the mucous membranes and the alveolar pulmonary tissue. The expression of the gene corresponding to ACE2 is not identical in smokers and in non-smokers. Based on animal models, smokers have long been considered to express less ACE2 – which suggests a simple explanation for the phenomenon: less ACE2 induces a lower propensity for infection.

But recent data, which seem to be corroborated by new researchsuggest that in humans, smoking is associated with a higher expression of ACE2. A higher propensity for coronavirus infection would therefore be expected. The epidemiological observations mentioned above, suggesting a protective effect of tobacco, would therefore raise a paradox.

Several explanatory hypotheses have been formulated. Some authors have advanced that in all patients, infection with SARS-CoV-2 would decrease the availability of ACE2 receptors in the lungs. The biological processes that usually mobilize these receptors would be hindered, leading to various symptoms of the disease. People with more ACE2, even if they were infected, would develop fewer symptoms. However, this interpretation is challenged by the Crépy-en-Valois study, where the diagnosis of infection was made on a blood test, and not on a simple clinical assessment of symptoms.

According to other works, the nAChR nicotinic receptor could modulate the activity of ACE2. Could stimulating nAChR make infection through ACE2 more difficult? This fact is not yet proven. “The possibility of a reciprocal modulation between ACE2 and the nicotinic receptor is an interesting scientific question for which we have no answer”, insists Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux, co-author of a scientific article inviting this hypothesis to be explored.

La Pitié-Salpêtrière has announced the launch of several clinical trials in this direction. The first, conducted on caregivers, aims to compare the infection rate between a group carrying nicotine patches and a group carrying placebos patches. More trials need to be done on Covid + patients in hospital to assess whether nicotine affects the course of the disease – especially in smokers who are forced to quit as a result of hospitalization.

Nicotine and vaping: preliminary data not very encouraging

The return of associations of electronic cigarette users does not seem to go in this direction, however. According to the analysis of a questionnaire sent in early April to several thousand members of the AIDUCE and SOVAPE associations, the rate of patients suspected of being Covid + was similar whether or not there was nicotine consumption – around 2.5 %. “Although it concerns nearly 10,000 people, this citizen survey is inconclusive on a major protective effect of nicotine, note the associations in a press release. The first data show no major positive or negative effect of vaping when faced with the risk of contracting Covid-19 for vapers and their entourage. ”

Tobaccoologist Bertrand Dautzenberg, who had encouraged these associations to explore this hypothesis, notes on Twitter that the data was not collected under conditions “Respecting all the obligations of scientific studies”. He nevertheless considers that they are not showing strong signs of a beneficial effect of nicotine in reducing Covid-19 levels. ” He invites an analysis of the Health Database to further explore this hypothesis.

No reason to start smoking

The tobacco specialist recalls “That tobacco certainly brings a negative effect greater than that of a small benefit which is not confirmed at all”. “This leads to encouraging all doctors to advise and support smoking cessation for all smokers.” The authors of the Crépy-en-Valois study abound in this sense, recalling that tobacco is responsible for 75,000 deaths per year in France. “Smoking cannot therefore be offered as a way of protecting oneself against the new coronavirus”, they insist.

Unsurprisingly, this finding is similar to that of the authors of a review on the complications of Covid-19 related to smoking. “Risk factors for severe forms of Covid-19 (pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, etc.) are more common in smokers. Smokers with comorbidities should quit smoking by all means. ” They also observe that confinement can lead to social isolation and psychological distress that increase the need for smoking. [En outre], smoking is more prevalent among the economically less advantaged groups, and they are potentially more at risk for Covid-19. ”

For its part, the association Alliance contre le tabac urged the greatest caution with regard to speculative information in circulation. In the absence of more evidence, nicotine users, “Should not expect to be more protected than the population from the current epidemic”, she recalls. In addition, she advises non-smokers to use nicotine substitutes. A warning also formulated by the promoters of the Pitié-Salpétrière study or by the Minister of Health.

In summary

Although well publicized, epidemiological observations associating smoking and the risk of developing the symptoms of Covid-19 are difficult to interpret at this time. Under the hypothesis of a real cause and effect link, the biological mechanisms mentioned in the press are still hypothetical. None have yet been formally tested.

Listen to the weekly behind the scenes podcast of CheckNews. This week: Covid-19: what are the real figures for deaths in intensive care?

Jérôme Salomon, the Director General of Health, mentioned a mortality of 10% in intensive care of patients hospitalized for Covid-19. In this episode, Luc Peillon explains why this figure is largely underestimated.

Florian Gouthière