Since December 2019, an increasing number of pneumonia cases caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have been identified in Wuhan, China. This new pathogen has exhibited high human-to-human transmissibility with approximately 16,819,944 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 662,000 deaths reported globally as of July 29, 2020.
In addition to population mobility and human-to-human contact, environmental factors such as absolute humidity (defined as the water content in ambient air) and temperature have been found to be strong environmental determinants of transmissions for some viral pathogens. For COVID-19, a recent study found that higher temperatures may have led to higher transmission in 122 cities in China, concluding that there was no evidence supporting the hypothesis that case counts of COVID-19 would decline when temperatures increase.
In contrast, another study showed that higher transmission was observed in colder places when analyzing data from 429 cities across the world suggesting that temperature could potentially impact COVID-19 transmission.
Obviously, there is a lot of discussion going on and a ton of scientific studies being conducted as we aim for the goal, “identifying how we can protect ourselves and our residents”. It is important that we take the time to, at a minimum, read the studies, listen to the researchers, base our practices on the guidance from experts, and stay the course. Read the most recent study that was published in “Scientific Reports” by visiting Nature’s website. Stay well, stay safe, and stay tuned!