Coronavirus could be seasonal, slowed by warm weather, new research finds

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.

Andrew Freedman and and Simon Denyer report for The Washington Post:

Coronavirus seasonal warm weatherMultiple 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.

Agence France-Presse:

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!


  1. President Trump: Heat will kill coronavirusThe Hill, Feb 11, 2020

    The U.S. president thinks the virus will clear up, but only once temperatures begin rising.

    During his first campaign rally in New Hampshire post-acquittal, President Trump… addressed the fast-spreading coronavirus rocking mainland China to its core. Calling it “rough stuff,” President Trump assuaged the crowd that it will “work out fine,” and that with warmer weather, the virus will die. “Generally speaking, the heat kills this kind of virus.”

    He mentioned this same theory earlier during a national governor’s meeting at the White House. The New York Times reports that Trump said that “The virus… a lot of people think that goes away in April, with the heat, as the heat comes in, typically that will go away in April.”

    1. Massive landslide re-election for Trump this fall.

      Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus Approved by 60% in Gallup Poll

      Some six in 10 Americans approve of the job Donald Trump is doing to combat the coronavirus crisis, pushing the president’s approval rating to the highest of his presidency, according to a poll released Tuesday by Gallup.

      Trump’s gains come as his standing has improved among Democrats and independents amid the viral outbreak. Trump’s job approval numbers are up 6 points among Democrats and 8 points among independents, according to the survey. – Gallup

      1. Populations usually rally around Presidents during times of crisis.

        FDR approval rating at start of WW2 was 83%

        Truman Korean War 87%

        Kennedy when he sent advisors to Vietnam 83%

    2. The USA has nothing to worry about.

      The presidential glowing finger will magically eradicate the last virus that VP and pandemic expert Judy Dench doesn’t kill with prayer and abstinence.

  2. Like it so oft happens, Trump says something, it’s ridiculed and later his statement is affirmed by experts and the voices of the initial criticism become silent, but still live with the initial disregard and disdain…at all costs.

    This isn’t to proclaim Trump’s a genius, beyond reproach, nor is it coming from a person that thinks he’s anything but a fallible person. It’s an observation of irrationality of Nth degrees focused on Trump.

    The list of examples is long. They seem to have no end. There appears to be no shame.

    1. If only he had followed this instinct and not shut down the entire US economy. Oh well. Can’t be too much harm in forcing the entire population out of work and bankrupting restaurants and bar and hair salons and thousands of other businesses. Just pass a $10 trillion dollar reparations bill and all will be well.

        1. I read your ignorant reply below. There have been about 500 deaths so far from this versus 30,000 from the flu. Swine flu in 2009 killed 20,000 and Barack Obama allowed that to happen with no government shutdown, no change in air travel, no school closings, no social distancing. He just let the people die and his supporters did not demand that America be closed down till all germs were eradicated. I am pretty sure you supported that passive strategy.

          1. So we are supposed to take you seriously when you claim at 3:15 on Thursday that there have been about 500 coronavirus deaths. As of 1:13, the actual number was 1069. This pattern of lying to minimize the threat and discourage Americans from taking precautions has been your MO from the beginning.

            As for H1N1, the “swine flu,” Obama did not order travel restrictions because the virus originated in the US. He declared a national public health emergency when there were only 20 identified cases. Ultimately, there were 60 million US cases with 12,469 deaths. That translates to a mortality rate of 0.02%, about a fifth the rate for ordinary seasonal flu.

            So far, there have been 75,178 cases of Covid-19 identified. The raw mortality rate (which will probably fall to 1%, give or take) is currently running at 1.4%. That poses a threat of roughly 70 times greater than N1H1. Reason enough to treat them differently.

    2. The list of examples to the opposite of your ludicrous assertion that most of his statements are affirmed later by experts shows you haven’t been paying much attention and like to cherry pick for your definitive conclusion. A clock is right twice a day as well. Trump is, and shall always be, an anti-genius shameless f*cking IDIOT.

      Check out his staff standing nearby when he’s talking. They can barely contain their laughter at incompetent Trump’s expense. Dr. Fauci’s recent reaction on stage when Trump was speaking was priceless.

  3. Just came back from Costa Rica. In that country, more than 50% of the cases are in the highly populated central valley where the capitol is. There is only one case on the coast (Limon) All the remaining cases are inland. The central inland regions are wetter and cooler tHan the coastal regions which experience high temperatures and dryness from December until April.The Pacific coast averages 33C most of the year.

  4. I was assured by another poster (also from Tx) that the temperature issue was nonsense.
    Pretty sure he, as a professional arguer, will change his angle to accept this and defend his previous position.

    1. No, you lying (expletive deleted), I am not going to change my angle, just repeat myself, since you did not pay attention the first time.

      I did not say it was nonsense. I said exactly what Dr. Fauci has, that it was uncertain. You and your fellow sycophants were arguing that the President was appropriately sitting on his ass in early February because the virus was going to miraculously (his term) vanish by May. He stated that as a certainty, not as a possibility. I pointed out:

      ^most obviously, it isn’t May. A lot of people could die between the President’s vision and the actual miracle, even if it happens. Many already have. It was never an excuse not to prepare.

      ^there were lots of cases in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Arabia, and other places that are currently warmer and more humid than summer in parts of North America. It had not miraculously disappeared there.

      ^That the virus was only just reaching those areas, so we really can’t measure spread rates with any accuracy yet. It seems quite possible that they are slower than in cool dry weather, but it is not a certainty. When the same amount of time has passed there as in Europe since the beginning of community spread we will have a better idea.

      ^That since the unrestrained spread rate of the coronavirus (the R0) is at least twice that for seasonal flu, halving that rate only brings it down to the reproductive rate of flu during flu season.

      ^that even if transmission slows in warm weather, the novel coronavirus might follow the pattern of the 1918 pandemic by moving to the Southern Hemisphere for a few months before launching a much deadlier wave in the North in the fall and winter. That was avoidable if the virus was contained earlier, rather than later.

      ^that the President was not speaking from his scientific expertise, but from a desperate political need to protect the stock market from justified fears that might imperil his re-election.

      Since you are also from Texas, you heard the Lt. Gov. claim that dropping the distancing requirements to restart the economy was worth accepting 1% to 2% in Covid-19 fatalities. That would be up to 6.5 million people, more than the number of Jewish victims in the Holocaust. Do you really think that the economy can absorb that many deaths and go back to hunky-dory before the November elections? If you do, I suspect you are among the 38% of Americans who won’t buy Corona beer because of the coronavirus.

  5. I don’t believe it yet. Hope I am wrong but two weeks ago they were saying warmer weather may not curb it. There is contradictory evidence. A Hong Kong scientist claims heat as was proven to kill it in the lab but results were not peer reviewed yet. Others point to Australia where it is spreading in their summer with the same growth curve seen in other countries.

  6. Trump has spewed so many falsehoods that, even if this pans out, it proves the old adage that a broken (analog) clock is still dead accurate twice a day, and slightly off for maybe 10 minutes. The other 1428 minutes it’s dead wrong.

    1. Well he was 100% right about China and the fact that American businesses should not tie their future to an immoral communist regime that seems to be the R&D and manufacturing site for all the world’s “novel viruses”. Trump was mocked by everyone for suggesting that a communist brutal regime is a good place to pin the future of your company to. Trump was right on that huge fact and all his mockers were 100% wrong.

  7. As I have said many time before, NO ONE KNOWS how this is going to play out. Lots of speculation and pronouncements that Trump is a genius or an idiot based upon your politics. People believe what they read that agrees with their biases and disregard that which doesn’t. But the virus doesn’t care about any of that. We’ll know more in two weeks, a lot more in two months, and have a really good understanding a year from now.

    How Trump’s management of the coronavirus situation will be judged in hindsight by what happens over the next year. I’ll bet that his approval rating will go up if it turns out that serious illnesses and deaths are a fairly modest number (whatever that might be) and down if deaths are in the hundreds of thousands or more. Anyone want to take me up on that?

  8. Australia is in the middle of a very hot summer, yet it is one of the top 20 most infected countries. The upcoming summer temperature in the northern hemisphere might have some effect on the virus, just don’t expect it to go away.

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