Short-term exposure to air pollution, as well as to climate variables have been linked to a higher incidence of respiratory viral diseases. The study aims to assess the short-term influence of air pollution and climate on COVID19 incidence in Lombardy (Italy), during the early stage of the outbreak, before the implementation of the lock-down measures. The daily number of COVID19 cases in Lombardy from February 25
to March 10
2020, and the daily average concentrations up to 15 days before the study period of particulate matter (PM
together with climate variables (temperature, relative humidity - RH%, wind speed, precipitation), were analyzed. A univariable mixed model with a logarithm transformation as link function was applied for each day, from 15 days (lag15) to one day (lag1) before the day of detected cases, to evaluate the effect of each variable. Additionally, change points (Break Points-BP) in the relationship between incident cases and air pollution or climatic factors were estimated. The results did not show a univocal relationship between air quality or climate factors and COVID19 incidence. PM
concentrations in the last lags seem to be related to an increased COVID19 incidence, probably due to an increased susceptibility of the host. In addition, low temperature and low wind speed in some lags resulted associated with increased daily COVID19 incidence. The findings observed suggest that these factors, in particular conditions and lags, may increase individual susceptibility to the development of viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2.