People who smoke are being warned to kick the habit or risk heightening their chances of catching and potentially dying from coronavirus.
An expert has highlighted how smokers are at risk, since the deadly COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.
Matthew Peters, Sydney-based Concord Hospital's head of respiratory medicine, told Australia's ABC: "Smoking is bad for your lungs and this is a particularly good time to not be a smoker and not have that damage going on.
The perfect time to quit
"You can't suddenly not be diabetic. You can't suddenly get rid of all the damage from past smoking. But you can get rid of the harms from current smoking.
"The benefits [of cutting out smoking] may well occur at the very time the health system is struggling to look after people with severe disease."
An earlier report from the World Health Organisation found that the coronavirus pandemic could have implications for smokers, because of how the habit is a risk factor "for any lower respiratory tract infection".
The WHO report read: "This may have implications for smokers, given that smoking is considered to be a risk factor for any lower respiratory tract infection [...] and the virus that causes COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, often causing mild to severe respiratory damage."
It follows new advice that anyone - smokers and non-smokers alike - can follow to help with the respiratory symptoms of coronavirus.
An NHS worker's advice
On Monday (April 6) afternoon, the celebrated British writer, 54, told her followers on Twitter she had "completely recovered".
You can get rid of the harms from current smoking.
She said that while she hasn't been tested for the virus, she had "all the symptoms" and was able to recover at home.
J.K. also offered some handy advice recommended by her doctor husband, Neil Murray, which she claims "helped a lot".
She tweeted: "Please watch this doc from Queens Hospital, [which] explains how to relieve respiratory symptoms.
"For [the] last two weeks I've had all symptoms of C19 (though [I] haven't been tested) and did this on doc husband's advice. I'm fully recovered and [this] technique helped a lot."
She linked to a YouTube clip of a NHS worker giving advice on relieving some of the virus' respiratory symptoms. The technique involves deep breaths in, breath holding and intentional (covered) coughing.
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