Summer WON'T curb the spread of the coronavirus, study finds

Summer WON'T curb the spread of the coronavirus: Study debunks claims that warmer weather will halt the pandemic Researchers examined the rate of spread of COVID-19 across 224 Chinese cities They compared this with local temperature, humidity and incoming UV radiation  The team found no significant association between weather and infection rates

By Ian Randall For Mailonline

Published: 13:03 BST, 10 April 2020 | Updated: 13:03 BST, 10 April 2020

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Summer will not curb the spread of the coronavirus in the northern hemisphere, a study has found — dashing hopes that warmer weather will halt the pandemic.

The transmission of many infectious diseases — such as influenza and SARS — are known to be impeded by increases in the ambient temperature.

Previous studies from both Beihang and Tsinghua Universities had concluded that the transmission rate of COVID-19 in China fell in as the temperature grew warmer.

However, the latest work comparing transmission rates with the weather by researchers from Fudan University has concluded there was no such relationship.

The findings come as both New Zealand and Australia report falling infection rates as they declare successes in breaking the coronavirus' chain of the transmission.

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Summer will not curb the spread of the coronavirus in the northern hemisphere, a study has found — dashing hopes that warmer weather will halt the pandemic (stock image)

Summer will not curb the spread of the coronavirus in the northern hemisphere, a study has found — dashing hopes that warmer weather will halt the pandemic (stock image)

WHY WAS IT HOPED SUMMER WOULD SLOW THE SPREAD? 

The transmission of many infectious diseases — for example, influenza and SARS — are thought to be impeded during the summer. 

Scientists believe that warmer seasons slow the spread of viruses for a number of reasons.

These include:

More sunlight allows the body to produce more vitamin D from cholesterol, resulting in better immune responses. The fact that schools are out, meaning that children are not clustered together to allow easier viral transmission.  Increased UV radiation, which has been suggested can slow the spread of respiratory diseases.

The investigation was undertaken by public health expert Weibing Wang and colleagues from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

'Our analysis suggested that ambient temperature has no significant impact on the transmission ability of SARS-CoV-2,' the researchers said.

'It is premature to count on warmer weather to control COVID-19, and relying on seasonality to curb this pandemic can be a dangerous line of thought.'

'Changing seasons may help but are unlikely to stop transmission,' the team added.

'Urgent policies or interventions — such as community travel bans and school closures — are needed to help slow transmission.'

In their study, Dr Wang and colleagues analysed the spread of coronavirus in 224 Chinese cities — including 17 in Hubei province, where the outbreak began — using data from the National Health Commission and the Provincial Health Commissions.

They then compared this

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