Warm temperatures and tropical climates may indeed help reduce the spread of COVID-9, a new study shows.
The study found that places with warm temperatures and long hours of sunlight – such as countries near the equator and those experiencing summer – have a lower incidence of COVID-19 than countries farther from the equator and those who experience colder weather.
The findings were made even after the researchers took into account other factors that could affect both the prevalence of COVID-19 and the number of reported cases, such as the level of urbanization in the country and the intensity of COVID-1
However, the authors emphasize that their findings do not mean that summer time will eliminate COVID-19; but it can give people a leg up against the disease.
“Our results do not mean that the disease will disappear in the summer or affect countries near the equator,” the authors wrote in a report published April 27 in the journal. Scientific reports. “Rather higher temperatures and more intense UV[[[[ultraviolet]summer radiation is likely to support public health measures to curb SARS-CoV-2, “the new coronavirus causing COVID-19.
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Shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the winter of 2020, it has been speculated that summer temperatures may bring relief from COVID-19. In fact, many respiratory viruses, including influenza viruses, show a seasonal pattern, peak in winter and immersion in the summer.
Scientists do not know for sure why these viruses follow a seasonal pattern, but a number of factors are thought to play a role. For example, studies show that many respiratory viruses are more stable and stay in the air longer in low-temperature, low-humidity environments. It was previously reported by Live Science. Human behavior, such as gathering indoors in the winter, can also stimulate transmission.
Studies in laboratory dishes have also found that high temperature and humidity reduce the survival of SARS-CoV-2, but whether this translates into actual transmission is unclear.
In the new study, researchers analyzed data from 117 countries using data on the spread of COVID-19 from the onset of the pandemic to January 9, 2021. They used statistical methods to study the relationship between a country’s latitude – which affects the amount the sunlight it receives, as well as the temperature and humidity – and the level of propagation of COVID-19. They also used data from the World Health Organization to control factors that could affect how much a country is affected by COVID-19, such as air travel, health care costs, the ratio of older people to young people, and economic development. .
They found that every 1 degree increase in the country’s latitude from the equator is tied to a 4.3% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases per million people. This means that if one country is 620 miles (1000 kilometers) closer to the equator than another, the country closer to the equator can expect to have 33% fewer cases of COVID-19 per million people, as all other factors are equal between countries.
“Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that heat and sunlight reduce the spread of
SARS-CoV-2 and the spread of COVID-19, “according to the authors, from the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health in Germany and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing. The findings also mean that” the threat of an epidemic may increase in the winter, “as is observed in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere in December 2020 and January 2021, they said.
The authors note that their study includes data only until January 9, 2021, before a number of variants of COVID-19, including variants that first appeared in South Africa and the United Kingdom, took off worldwide, so it is not clear whether these options will show similar patterns of seasonal infection.
Originally published in Live Science.