Effect of Temperature and Humidity on COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic is a hot global issue today. The virus was quite unknown at the start, this thing gave birth to many rumors. One of these rumors is that virus is not heat-resistant and cannot tolerate a temperature of 26 or above and the pandemic will be over in hot summer. Although an increase in temperature and humidity has some effects on the virus but pandemic will still be there in summer. Researches show that Increasing temperature by just one degree Celsius and 1% increase in relative humidity lower the transmission of the virus. Evidence shows that COVID-19 can spread in all areas including hot and humid areas too but the number of cases is less in hot and humid areas.
Qasim Bukhari and Yusuf Jameel from Massachusetts Institute of Technology analyzed that 90% of global cases occurred in areas having a temperature from 3 degrees Celsius to 17 degrees Celsius and having absolute humidity of 4 to 9 grams per cubic meter. In countries with an average temperature is greater than 18-degree Celsius and absolute humidity greater than 9 grams per cubic meter; less than 6% of global cases occurred. But this doesn’t mean that the pandemic will end in summer
According to Dr. William Schaffner an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, it is unreasonable to think that virus will disappear in the summer months. According to Schaffner “we have to beware of wanting to walk only the sunny side of the street, there is another side that is shadier.” In winter, the air has low humidity and the sphere of the droplets trend to evaporate and the virus can be for a longer time in the air as gravity won’t pull it to the ground. But in summer the surrounding droplet doesn’t evaporate making the droplet heavier thus gravity will pull it to the ground easily.
Research shows that 1 increase in temperature reduced new cases by 3.08% and 1.19% reduction in daily deaths. 1% increase in relative humidity reduces daily new cases 0.85% and reports a 0.51% reduction in daily deaths. The virus can persist on a surface from hours to several days. The transmission of the virus depends upon multiple factors like climate, temperature, relative humidity, medical care quality, and population density so understanding the relationship between just only weather and COVID-19 transmission is not so clear.