Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19? :- The appearance of coronavirus in Wuhan city of China has spread in more than 165 nations and causing the death of hundreds of people every day. When the disease originated in Wuhan, the month was December and the temperature was 10 degrees.
As the disease spread, the virus was identified as the new form of coronavirus(the virus cause for the flu) and COVID-19 seems to be as infectious as the flu. But potentially more dangerous, especially since there is no specific treatment, cure or seasonal vaccine.
The symptoms that the disease show also resemble the flu such as the runny nose, coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Since the disease resembles the flu, people have been hoping and praying that the virus will be killed with the arrival of summer. As the virus has been the respiratory viruses and they are always a problem during cold weather.
And Influenza develops in cold and dry conditions. That is why winter is the flu season for most countries and with the arrival of summer and rise in temperature, the flu usually diminishes. However, it is not clear whether the weather or the temperature has any effect on these viruses.
The hope is that along with radical action by the government and the community to reduce the number of new cases will help in reducing the spread during warmer weather. It will provide a health system space to deal with the emergence of new Corona Viruses and give time for vaccine or drug development.
Evidence showing the unpredictability of the virus
Experts are not in the state to say definitively whether the rise in temperature will kill the virus or not. You will know why:
More than 100 cases have been confirmed in Singapore, where heat and humidity occur throughout the year. Australia, Brazil, and Argentina, all of which are currently in the middle of summer, have now also reported many cases.
There is evidence to suggest that the Corona Virus develops very well in certain climates. Some of the most severe areas in the world, from Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, to Iran, Italy and South Korea are at approximately the same latitude, with the same temperature and relative humidity.
Researchers at the University of Maryland(UM) have even used this data to try to map other parts of the world that could be at risk of becoming a place of epidemics. Although this research is still preliminary, data from the UM study show that certain climatic conditions do not determine whether the virus can survive, or can help accelerate its spread. Besides having the same average temperature, humidity And latitude also show the similarity that in time the outbreak coincides with the lowest point in the annual temperature cycle. And thus the temperature is relatively stable during a period of more than one month.
According to Brittany Kmush, a public health expert at Syracuse University in New York, flu, influenza and other Coronaviruses that effect humans tend to follow seasonally, with cases peaking in the winter months in northern hemisphere. However, the expert also emphasized that they don’t know whether this virus will follow a similar seasonal pattern or not.
What does the WHO say?
According to the WHO, the evidence available so far has indicated that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted in all areas, including areas with hot and humid climates.
What does the US CDC say?
The United States Centers for Disease Control has clarified on its website that it is not known whether weather and temperature will affect the spread of COVID-19.
As for other viruses causing common cold or flu is more during winter but it doesn’t mean we don’t suffer from flu in other seasons. Therefore, they explained that it is not definite and not known whether the COVID-19 will spread or not in summer.
Some other experts believe that high temperatures will end the coronavirus outbreak
There are some experts who a positive opinion that the virus will disappear with the rise in temperature.
Among such experts, the researcher of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) and director of the Coronavirus Laboratory of the CNB, Luis Enjuanes is one.
He is n the opinion that the virus will be inactivated with high temperatures. Ron Geller, a researcher from the Viral Biology group at the Institute for Integrative Biology of Systems at the University of Valencia also in the opinion that the transmission of the disease will decrease with higher temperatures.
One of the scientific articles states that the virus needs the temperature from 13ºC to 24ºC for its survival. And with the arrival of spring, the virus will spread to mid and high latitudes with temperatures between 13ºC and 19ºC.
On the other hand, according to the study, it is expected that in cities with an average temperature above 24 ºC, the epidemic will end when the coronavirus does not reproduce. But remember that this article has not been reviewed by other scientists.
There are experts who don’t believe that heat kills the virus
If there are experts that believe in summer, the virus and COVID-19 will disappear completely. Then there are also experts who don’t believe in this hypothesis but they do believe that the spread will be reduced in the summer.
According to the article published by Marc Lipsitch, professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for the Dynamics of Communicable Diseases at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard (United States). The change of season may help, but it is unlikely to stop the transmission of the coronavirus.
A virologist Isabel Sola at the coronavirus laboratory at the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) explained that in summer the transmission of the virus may be reduced as the virus when exposed to the elements such as an increase in the external temperature and to ultraviolet light from the sun, they desiccate.
Therefore, when the heat arrives It is foreseeable that viruses that come out of a person and fall on external surfaces will be inactivated earlier, which would reduce transmission.
It should be noted that the opinion of the experts regarding whether the virus will disappear in summer differ. But all experts despite their different opinion and beliefs have said that there is no reliable evidence supporting any of the hypotheses yet.
The virus has not yet been sufficiently studied, and previous similar diseases were not too afraid of warm weather. Therefore, despite the seasonal change, you need to be careful and emphasize hand hygiene, sanitation, wearing a mask and eating well-cooked food.
Ankur Pradhan, a registered and practitioner staff nurse in Kanti Bal Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal and worked in Abudhabi medical center as a staff nurse. She has written some health-related books as well.