Warm weather doesn’t curb COVID-19 spread, studies reveal

Contrary to the general knowledge across the globe, two studies have revealed that warm weather does not kill off the coronavirus or curb its spread.

The Daily Mail of UK reported that the studies, carried out by US and Canadian researchers, analysed more than 370,000 cases in thousands of different cities in US and found out that temperature had no link with the rise in infections, while a negligible difference exists between humidity and cases.

The UK news medium quoted Professor Dionne Gesink, an epidemiologist at the Canadian university as saying that “summer is not going to make the virus go away. It’s important people know that.”

Recall that President Donald Trump said last month that a research had suggested a combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and warmer temperatures killed off the virus in minutes, but the studies from the University of Toronto have stated otherwise.

According to the Daily Mail, the researchers compared the effect of temperature, humidity, school closures, restrictions of mass gatherings, and social distancing on the spread of the disease.

Co-author, Dr. Peter Jüni, said they conducted a preliminary study that suggested both latitude and temperature could play a role.

“But when we repeated the study under much more rigorous conditions, we got the opposite result,” Jüni said.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail also reported that American researchers came to a similar conclusion in a paper that has not yet been published in a journal, or scrutinised by other scientists.

“Lead researcher, Hazhir Rahmandad, an associate professor of System Dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management, and his team analysed data on virus transmission and weather statistics across more than 3,700 locations between last December and April 22. They found only a slightly lower transmission risk, about a 1.7 per cent reduction per 1 degree Fahrenheit, once temperatures rose above 77 degrees F.

“Even though high temperatures and humidity can moderately reduce the transmission rate of coronavirus, the pandemic is not likely to diminish solely due to summer weather,” the Daily Mail quoted Rahmandad as saying in an MIT news release.

“Policy makers and the public should remain vigilant in their responses to the health emergency, rather than assuming that the summer climate naturally prevents transmission,” he said.

“Commenting on the findings, Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore said the results were not surprising,” the Daily Mail reported.

According to the UK medium, Adalja said: “Because this is a novel virus, without population immunity, we can’t expect to see a full suppression of transmission based on season alit.”

“Though certain environmental conditions might be less conducive to spread from surfaces during summer months, the sheer fact that so many people are susceptible may not make as much of a difference because person-to-person spread will continue.

“It will be important that even in the summer months, states remain vigilant regarding the number of cases that are occurring with full situational awareness of the rate of hospitalizations, to prevent hospitals from going into a stress mode of functioning,” Daily Mail further quoted Adalja as saying.

 

 

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