Will Warmer Weather Prevent the Spread of the New Coronavirus?
Will the Temperature Rise Slow Down the Spread of the New Coronavirus?
On March 16, according to relevant foreign media reports, as the death toll of the new coronavirus continues to rise, some people pointed out that the coming warm spring in the northern hemisphere may slow down or even stop the spread of the new coronavirus disease. US President Donald Trump said that in general, high temperature will kill the new crown virus. But is his view correct?
The return of the climate in spring may prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. This idea mainly comes from a comparison with the flu virus. In some respects, the new coronavirus and influenza virus have similar manifestations, they are spread in similar ways (respiratory secretions and contaminated surfaces), and both can cause typical mild respiratory diseases, which can later become life-threatening. Pneumonia. However, the infectiousness and severity of the new coronavirus far exceed that of influenza, so it is not clear whether the spread of the new coronavirus will be affected by seasonal temperature changes.
Temperature Rise Can Slow the Spread of Flu Disease
For influenza, the temperature rise in spring will cause a significant reduction in the number of influenza patients. This situation will continue until the emergence of cold weather in autumn. The seasonal characteristics of influenza are considered to be the sensitivity of the virus to different climates and the human immune system And seasonal changes in behavior patterns.
First, the flu virus seems to be more likely to survive in cold, dry, and weakened UV weather. Secondly, for most people, the shorter days in winter will lead to lower levels of vitamin D and melatonin, thereby affecting the body’s immune system. Finally, people spend more time with family and friends in winter, so they choose to keep warm in closed environments, which increases the probability of virus transmission.
The Study of SARS And Influenza on How the New Coronavirus Is Spreading
How will these factors affect the spread of the new coronavirus? Scientists do not yet know the impact of temperature and humidity on the new coronavirus itself and its spread. Some other coronavirus diseases are seasonal, and winter is their high incidence period.
The SARS epidemic in 2002-2003 started in the northern hemisphere winter and ended in July 2003. In the same winter, the number of people infected with SARS rose slightly, but the SARS epidemic reached its peak in the warmer May, and the end of the epidemic in July may be possible. It only reflects the time required to organize the spread of the virus, not the impact of summer weather on the spread of the virus. At the same time, the coronavirus related to SARS virus is mainly spread in tropical countries.
Compared with influenza, the prevalence of influenza viruses in 2009-2010 began in spring, gradually increased in spring and summer, and reached a peak in the following winter. These data show that during the influenza virus epidemic, the high incidence in many countries around the world can make the flu continue to extend throughout the summer. Although the World Health Organization has not announced the 19th influenza outbreak, many experts believe that the world is currently entering the influenza pandemic phase.
Therefore, with the increasing warming of the climate, the spread of the new coronavirus in the northern hemisphere may be reduced, and the spread of the winter epidemic in the southern hemisphere may be increased. In terms of weather factors, it is unlikely to end this growing epidemic.