A new study from China, whose findings appear in the European Respiratory Journal, looks at whether the changes in the weather and higher temperatures can impact coronavirus and potentially help put an end to the pandemic.
Until recently, a number of health experts from different parts of the world were expecting COVID-19 to slow down and gradually be controlled as the usual flu and cold are as soon as warmer weather begins. However, the coronavirus might not behave in a similar way.
The new report by the Chinese researchers as well as experts at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences both has confirmed that COVID-19 may only be controlled with additional and continued efforts rather than any changes in the weather.
Secondly, researchers at the National Academy of Sciences also explain and state that there are many countries that are currently going through summer i.e. Australia yet the coronavirus cases are at peak in these countries. It might suggest that temperature and COVID-19 spread has no link to each other.
A study conducted in two hundred and twenty-four cities in China between the months of January and March also concluded in its findings that if the changing temperatures did not have any effect on the virus at the start of spring, they are likely to make any difference in the health pandemic.
The team of researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai led by Ye Yao said that this study’s result do not support this previous hypothesis that a rise in temperature as in summer would change the transmission and spread of coronavirus. And he also said that it is too early to make a statement on whether or not the coming season controls this pandemic.
Dr. Robert Glatter, who is an emergency medicine specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York in the U.S. also agrees and says that the findings of new studies now prove the earlier claim of the coronavirus going away by the start of April due to changes in the weather.
Regardless of the results showing the coronavirus may persist even in warmer weather, there is still some hope. Previously, the beginning of summer is known to lower not only the risk of common cold and flu but all infections in general.
Yao explains that it is not just the rise in temperatures that bring about these changes but also a number of other factors. For instance, longer days in summer mean longer periods of sunshine and longer intake of Vitamin D which is known to improve immunity.
In a press release earlier this week, the National Academy of Science stated that where “experimental studies show a relationship between higher temperatures and humidity levels and reduced survival of the COVID-19 virus in the laboratory.”, there is still a very high risk of spread and infections even in the coming months of summer
The team of researchers led by Yao explored further at the association between higher temperatures and the persistence of coronavirus and looked at the spread of the coronavirus in various cities across China including the province of Hubei.
After collecting epidemiological data, the team made comparisons with the changing weather, higher humidity levels, higher temperatures, and the amount of sunlight.
The team concluded that a change of the temprature would have no effect on the viral spread. Even after adjusting for the aforementioned factors like sunlight, the coronavirus and its transmission rates would not be affected.
Furthermore, the researchers also highlighted that the new coronavirus and these patterns were similar to the coronavirus outbreak also known as Middle East respiratory syndrome during the years 2012-2013.
They also pointed out that other zoonotic diseases like ebola also spread with an unpredictable transmission pattern. So for this COVID-19 pandemic, the same might be true as well.