Scientists have found solid evidence that COVID-19 is a seasonal infection

A study by researchers at the Institute of Global Health in Barcelona (ISGlobal) provides solid evidence that COVID-19 is a seasonal infection associated with low temperatures and humidity, similar to seasonal flu, reports “Medical Express”.

The results of the study, published in the Nature Computational Science, also support the need to move to measures to promote “air hygiene”, given the easy transmission of the virus by airborne droplets.

A key subject of the study was whether SARS-CoV-2 behaves like a seasonal virus or will be transmitted equally at any time of the year.

According to the first theoretical model, climate is not an important factor in the transmission of the coronavirus due to the large number of susceptible people without immunity to it. However, some of the observations show that The coronavirus originally spread to China in areas with low humidity and temperature – between 5 degrees and 11 degrees Celsius.

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The question of whether COVID-19 is a true seasonal disease is becoming increasingly important in order to take effective action, explains Javier Rodo, director of the Climate and Health program at ISGlobal and coordinator of the study.

The research team first analyzed inthe difference in temperature and humidity in the initial phase of the spread of the virus in 162 countries on five continents before restrictions were introduced.

The results show a negative relationship between the transmission rate (R0) and the temperature and humidity on a global scale, ie. higher transmission rates are associated with lower temperatures and humidity.

To determine whether there is a link between climate and the development of the infection develops over time, data from different parts of the world are analyzed using a specially developed statistical model.

WHO: The world will not get rid of COVID in 2022

WHO: The world will not get rid of COVID in 2022

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It has been re-established strong negative relationship for short time intervals between disease (number of cases) and climate (temperature and humidity), with successive patterns during the first, second and third waves of the pandemic on different scales – worldwide, countries, individual regions in the heavily affected countries (Lombardy, Thuringia and Catalonia), as well as the urban level (Barcelona).

The study shows that the first epidemic wave decreases with increasing temperature and humidity. Although the latter reported growth under the same conditions, this pattern was disrupted in the summer on all continents.

According to researchers, this can be explained by various factors, including mass gatherings of young people, tourism and others.

In Europe alone, morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 are rising

In Europe alone, morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 are rising

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“In general, our findings support the thesis of COVID-19 as a true seasonal low-temperature infection“similar to the flu and the more harmless circulating coronaviruses,” Rodo said.

This seasonality can contribute significantly to coronavirus transmission, as it has been shown to low humidity conditions reduce the size of aerosols and thus increase the airborne transmission of seasonal viruses such as influenza.

For this reason, the emphasis should be on “air hygiene” through improved indoor ventilation, as aerosols are able to persist for longer, Rodo points out and emphasizes the need to include meteorological parameters in the assessment and planning of control measures.

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WHO with gloomy forecast: Nearly a quarter of a million COVID-19 victims in Europe by December

Mortality increased by 11%

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