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Can COVID-19 Spread Slower In Warmer Places?
If you look at all the data about local COVID-19 outbreaks, you will see that there’s a trend between the number of confirmed cases and the local weather. Most of the outbreaks experienced the highest number of cases during the colder months, and it eventually slowed down as the weather gradually became warmer as well.
However, as you know, correlation doesn’t always mean causation, so scientists are wondering whether there’s really a connection between the two. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at all the evidence that suggests COVID-19 spreads slower in warmer places.
Flu season and COVID-19
Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunobiology from the Yale University of Medicine, believes that the relation is similar to how regular flu is often associated with colder months. “During the winter months, we tend to have a surge in the cases of respiratory infection, including the influenza viruses.”
Iwasaki adds that since COVID-19 is simply a cousin of regular flu, which is just a different strain of coronavirus, it only makes sense that it would work best the same way–at lower temperatures and at lower humidity level. One potential benefit of warmer and sunnier weather is that an increase in vitamin D can boost one’s immunity and help the body more effectively fight off viruses.
COVID-19 in warm vs cool places
Meanwhile, a study conducted at John Hopkins University showed empirical evidence that points to the relation of weather and the new coronavirus. Based on the results, it was shown that places with an average temperature of at least 18C only had fewer than 5% of total cases. Places with an average temperature of 3C to 13C, on the other hand, had the maximum number of positive COVID-19 cases.
The results are backed up by two other studies from researchers based in Spain and Finland. The first study showed that around 95% of total transmissions occurred in places that had temperatures of less than 10C, while the second showed that even in China, COVID-19 transmissions were much slower in cities that were hot and humid compared to cities that were cold and dry.