Coronavirus Studies: New Study Finds Warmer Weather May Slow COVID-19 Spread & Cooler Weather May Accelerate It by 30Seconds Health
Since the first outbreak of the new coronavirus, many in the Northern Hemisphere have been looking ahead to the warmth of summer and the end of the flu season with hope that the number of COVID-19 cases will wane, too. However, with spring underway in the Northern Hemisphere, a recent study shows summer's approaching warmth might not thaw out the virus' grasp on certain corners of the world.
When will the coronavirus stop?
Qasim Bukhari, a computational neuroscientist, and Yusuf Jameel, an environmental scientist, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), set out to explore that question and discover if weather could slow or stop its spread. They found in their study titled Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Diminish By Summer? that, in short, for most of the world, the new coronavirus won't diminish come summertime.
"Based on the current data on the spread of 2019-nCoV [or SARS-CoV-2, which causes the illness COVID-19], we hypothesize that the lower number of cases in tropical countries might be due to warm humid conditions, under which the spread of the virus might be slower as has been observed for other viruses," Bukhari and Jameel wrote in the research paper.
But, they cautioned, "The underlying reasoning behind this relationship is still not clear." When contacted by AccuWeather this week, the researchers elaborated on their work.
"Our key findings are that so far at absolute humidity levels above 10 g/m3, the spread of the cases appears to be slower than at places with absolute humidity levels less than 10 g/m3," Jameel told AccuWeather in an email. According to the National Weather Service, absolute humidity is "expressed as grams of water vapor per cubic meter volume of air" and "is a measure of the actual amount of water vapor (moisture) in the air, regardless of the air's temperature," which is what the above measurement refers to.
Relative humidity is a measure of how close the air is to saturation at a specific temperature. Using absolute humidity allows the temperature to be taken out of the calculations.
Read more about this study at AccuWeather.com.
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