Warm weather does not stop the coronavirus from spreading, say researchers who have warned “summer won’t make this go away”.
The view the battle against the coronavirus could be given a helping hand from the coming warm summer months seems to have been discredited by US and Canadian researchers.
US President Donald Trump said last month that research had suggested a combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and warmer temperatures killed the virus in just a few minutes.
But the latest study found the transmission risk was only reduced by about 1.5 per cent for every degree Fahrenheit above 77F (25C).
Researchers from the University of Toronto looked at a total of more than 375,600 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US and Canada in March and concluded “summer is not going to make this go away”.
They studied the impact of temperature, humidity, school closures, restrictions of mass gatherings and social distancing on the spread of the disease. The results indicated no link between temperature with a rise in infections and only a negligible difference between humidity and the number of cases.
Professor Dionne Gesink, an epidemiologist at the Canadian university, said: “Summer is not going to make this go away, it’s important people know that. On the other hand, the more public health interventions an area had in place, the bigger the impact on slowing the epidemic growth. These public health interventions are really important because they’re the only thing working right now to slow the epidemic.”
Co-author Dr Peter Jüni said: “We had conducted a preliminary study that suggested both latitude and temperature could play a role. But when we repeated the study under much more rigorous conditions, we got the opposite result.”
Their findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.Photo Credit: Getty