The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands, sickened more than 350,000 and sent major economies into a tailspin may be slowed by warm weather from the upcoming changing of the seasons, several preliminary studies suggest.
Multiple early studies provide evidence of statistical ties between temperature and humidity ranges and the geographic regions where this virus has thrived. While none of these studies has been peer-reviewed, they all point to the same general possibility: The pandemic could ease in parts of North America and Europe during the summer months, although it could then come roaring back in the fall.
Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a visible figure on the White House coronavirus task force, said at a Wednesday press briefing that a seasonal cycle to the pandemic is possible, perhaps even likely. “… I think it very well might. And the reason I say that is that what we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere, in southern Africa and in the southern hemisphere countries, is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared, that we’ll get a cycle around the second time.”
A new study uploaded to the research site SSRN over the weekend finds that 90 percent of the coronavirus transmissions so far have occurred within a specific temperature (37 to 63 degrees) and absolute humidity range. For areas outside this zone, the virus is still spreading, but more slowly, according to the study by two scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way.
“What we’re starting to see now… in southern Africa and in the southern hemisphere countries, is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season,” he said… “It totally emphasizes the need to do what we’re doing in developing a vaccine, testing it quickly and trying to get it ready so that we’ll have a vaccine available for that next cycle… I know we’ll be successful in putting this down now, but we really need to be prepared for another cycle,” Fauci concluded.
MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, these early studies pan out to be true and we’ll catch a break here and have some time to regroup, work on treatments, not overwhelm medical services, etc. in the US as spring and summer approaches!