Weather alone will NOT change the spread of coronavirus, study finds

Weather itself does not have any significant effect on the spread of the coronavirus, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that changes in temperature and humidity account for just three percent of COVID-19 transmission.

However, behavioral shifts that occur during the seasons, such as travel and time spent away from home, are responsible for up to 60 percent of the disease's spread.

The team, from the University of Texas at Austin, says the findings provide evidence that warmer and cooler temperatures do not have any impact and the reason the virus has been so transmissible is almost entirely due to human behavior.

A new study from the University of Texas at Austin looked at how coronavirus spread in the US between March and July 2020 comparing temperature with cellphone data. Weather had little influence on the spread of coronavirus at no more than 3% both state-wide and county-wide (above)

A new study from the University of Texas at Austin looked at how coronavirus spread in the US between March and July 2020 comparing temperature with cellphone data. Weather had little influence on the spread of coronavirus at no more than 3% both state-wide and county-wide (above)

Taking trips and spending time away from home were the top two contributing factors for transmission, accounting for 34% and 26%, respectively (above)

Taking trips and spending time away from home were the top two contributing factors for transmission, accounting for 34% and 26%, respectively (above)

Population was responsible for 23% of the reason of spread and urban density, accounted for 13%. Pictured: People wait in line to vote at the West Reading Borough Hall in Pennsylvania, November 3

Population was responsible for 23% of the reason of spread and urban density, accounted for 13%. Pictured: People wait in line to vote at the West Reading Borough Hall in Pennsylvania, November 3

When the pandemic first began, there were hopes that hot temperatures could curb the spread of the coronavirus as usually occurs with other respiratory viruses such as the flu.

However, the summer months only brought about a second wave with cases peaking at 73,715 on July 24.

The team says the temperatures do have an influence on how people act, which can indirectly influence the spread of the virus from one person to another. 

'The effect of weather is low and other features such as mobility have more impact than weather,' said lead author Dr Dev Niyogi, a professor at UT Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences and Cockrell School of Engineering. 

'In terms of relative importance, weather is one of the last parameters.' 

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