If you’re hoping the warmer summer weather could kill the coronavirus, you’re out of luck, the researchers said.
A University of Toronto study of 144 regions of the world with more than 375,000 cases of COVID-19 as of March 27 found no evidence that warm weather can help fight the pandemic.
The study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on May 8, is the first global peer-reviewed study outside of China to show the climate is unlikely to take its toll. counts the virus transmission.
Researchers discovered that warm climate countries had no advantage over colder climates when it came to spreading the virus. Singapore, Ecuador and Louisiana have seen cases of COVID-19 increase as temperatures climbed more than 30 degrees Celsius.
Many people hoped that warm weather would precipitate a drop in cases, as the high heat and humidity of summer reduced the spread of colds and flu. But it is also because many people are at least partially immune to the flu, and immunity builds up over time as people are vaccinated. People have no immunity to the coronavirus, the researchers said, so any weather can be considered favorable for its growth.
However, the University of Toronto study had encouraging results: countries that have adopted major public health interventions, including restrictions on mass gatherings and school closings, have succeeded in curbing the spread.
“Summer is not going to make this go away,” said the epidemiologist, professor and author of the Dionne Gesink study in a statement. “On the other hand, the more a sector has implemented public health interventions, the greater the impact on slowing the growth of the epidemic. These public health interventions are really important because they are the only thing that is currently working to slow the epidemic. “
The report includes a comparison between Greece, which closed its schools 14 days after its first positive test and banned public gatherings, and Singapore, which had its first case in January, but did not close schools until April 8 and authorized public rallies.
“At the height of each country’s epidemic, Singapore suffered about 10 times more cases than Greece,” said the report.
The researchers also found that high humidity could help fight the virus, although to a lesser extent, “perhaps because aerosol droplets fall to the ground more quickly or viral particles become unstable in the air.” humid and heavy air ”. Knowing that the virus cannot spread as easily in outdoor areas, this suggests that outdoor activities could be a little safer in summer, as long as we respect social distance.
However, even if the humidity has a slight impact, the weather changes will not cause a significant change in the transmission of the virus, and it will certainly not put an end to social distancing by far.