As lockdowns sweep the country and people prepare to work from home for months, many are wondering whether springtime’s warmer temperatures will provide much-needed relief from the coronavirus. Others, including President Donald Trump, have made the case that it’s a certainty.
“When it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away,” said Trump, at a rally in New Hampshire last month. That was five weeks before U.S. cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, topped 15,000 and global cases climbed to over 250,000. (So, no, a little warmth hasn’t brought a miracle.)
But there is some (very) early evidence that the current pandemic could be alleviated by rising temperatures and local climates. A preprint of a study by researchers in China — which has yet to be peer reviewed — examined 100 Chinese cities that had more than 400 cases. They found that the coronavirus was transmitted more rapidly in cities with cooler and drier weather conditions. Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, typically has temperatures in the 40s Fahrenheit during December and January. Last week, it was in the low 70s.
Similarly, two other draft papers posted in recent weeks suggest that the current global spread of the coronavirus shows that it prefers cool and dry climates.
Read the entire story at Grist. Kristie Ebi, Professor of Global Health, is quoted.