The new coronavirus is unlikely to disappear in the summer, the European Union agency for disease control said today. The messages is a stark warning that the epidemic could continue when temperatures rise unless measures to hamper it are applied.
The notice leaves little room for hopes that SARS-CoV-2, the name of the new virus, could behave as the other four coronaviruses which are endemic in human populations and are usually not detected in summer months.
Many of the outbreaks of Covid-19 have been in cooler areas, leading some to hope the warm weather will banish the disease. However, Covid-19 is too new for any firm data to have been collected into its habits.
An early study, which has not been peer reviewed, into the disease’s spread suggested it could be hampered by warmer weather.
Chinese scientists from several universities wrote: “Taken Chinese cities as a discovery dataset, it was suggested that temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity combined together could best predict the epidemic situation.
“The meteorological model could well predict the outbreak around the world with a high correlation (r>0.6) with the real data. Using this model, we further predicted the possible epidemic situation in the future 12 days in several high-latitude cities with potential outbreak.”
This does not contradict the EU agency’s research however, which suggests that the warm weather alone may not be enough to see off Covid-19.
Another unpublished study has also shown higher temperatures are linked to lower incidence of Covid-19. The researchers behind that study notes that temperature alone cannot account for the global variation in number of cases.
If the warm weather will not banish the disease, then human action will have to.