Coronavirus disease also termed as (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that is caused by the newly discovered Coronavirus. Do High air temperature and humidity affect the spread of coronavirus? Before answering that let’s talk about the COVID-19 itself.
Coronavirus is the newly discovered virus that belongs to the family of previously discovered Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) viruses. It started in the city of Wuhan in China. After affecting millions in China it has now spread worldwide affecting millions of people and causing deaths of thousands across the globe. It has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The Novel coronavirus is airborne and transmits from one person to another through the air or physical contact. A person exposed to this virus can show symptoms within 2-14 days.
Most people affected by this virus experience Dry cough, Fever, and respiratory illness and recover without special treatment. Elderly people and those already having medical problems are more vulnerable to this disease.
Impact of Temperature and Humidity on the Corona Virus.
According to the early-stage studies on Coronavirus transmission, the correlation has been found between high temperature, humidity and Corona virus’s spread.
In the most recent data analysis by two researchers at MIT, it has been discovered that the Maximum number of virus transmission has reported in the areas where the temperature ranges between 3 and 13 ⁰C during the outbreak. On the other hand, areas with a temperature above 15 ⁰C have reported less than 5% of cases. This pattern also shows up within the US, where southern states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona have seen a slower growth rate than northern states like Washington, New York, and Colorado. California, which spans north and south, has a growth rate that falls in between.
Another paper that was published by Jingyuan Wang, Ke Tang, Kai Feng, and Weifeng Lv. On 9th March 2020 shows the impact of temperature and humidity on the transmission of coronavirus. The paper investigated how air temperature and humidity influenced the transmission of COVID-19. After estimating the serial interval of coronavirus from 105 pairs of the virus carrier and the infected, they calculated the daily effective reproductive number, R, for each of all 100 Chinese cities with more than 40 cases. Using the daily R values from January 21 to 23, 2020 as proxies of non-intervened transmission intensity, they found, under a linear regression framework for 100 Chinese cities, high temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduced the transmission of COVID-19, respectively, even after controlling for population density and GDP per capita of cities.
One degree Celsius increase in temperature and one percent increase in relative humidity lower R by 0.0383 and 0.0224, respectively
. This result is consistent with the fact that the high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza. It indicates that the arrival of summer and rainy season in the northern hemisphere can effectively reduce the transmission of the COVID-19