High temperatures, humidity check spread of virus: Study

Summer in northern hemisphere can contain Covid-19

High temperatures, humidity check spread of virus: Study

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17

A landmark study on Covid-19 from China has shown that high temperature and humidity have high potential to reduce transmission. Authors Jingyuan Wang, Kai Feng and Weifeng from the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Beihang University, and the School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, in a research, has concluded that summers and rainy season in the northern hemisphere can check Covid transmission.

“This result is consistent with the fact that the high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza,” the authors said in the first evidence that the new virus may behave like the past influenza viruses that have killed people.

The paper investigated how air temperature and humidity influenced transmission. After estimating the serial interval of Covid-19 from 105 pairs of virus carrier and the infected, researchers calculated the daily effective reproductive number for each of all 100 Chinese cities with more than 40 cases. The virus was reported in Chinese Wuhan on December 31, 2019, and has since spread to 151 nations.

Compared with SARS, the range of Covid-19 outbreak is much wider. According to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, more than 89,000 Covid cases have been reported globally.

The study said: “In the early dates of the outbreak, countries with relatively lower air temperature and lower humidity (Korea, Japan and Iran) see severe outbreaks than do warmer and more humid countries.” 

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