‘Transmission has not slowed down during warmer months’


A new study suggests that continuous transmission of coronaviruses “may still occur in warm and moist places, as seen in the US during the last summer months.” (Via Santiago Mejia / San Francisco Chronicle Getty Image)

While previous studies have predicted that the coronovirus will eventually become seasonal like the flu, new research suggests that the virus may remain around all year.

Respiratory viruses are often seasonal, and some, including influenza A and B, generally prefer dry, cold conditions in winter. But the new study was published in the journal NatureSuggests that the continued transmission of coronaviruses “may still occur in hot and moist places, as seen in the US during the last summer months,” Mauricio Santillana, one of the study’s authors, Department of Epidemiology at Harvard Is an Assistant Professor at. TH Chan School of Public Health tells Yahoo Life.

The study authors state that their findings indicate that “changes in weather (i.e., spring and summer months as temperatures and humidity increase as the northern hemisphere falls) are not necessarily the case without the implementation of drastic public health interventions.” Cause decline. ”

Santillana points to a recent study that found that “high temperatures can cause high temperatures [COVID-19] Transmission to 122 cities in China, concluding that there was no evidence supporting the hypothesis that COVID-19 counts in the case when the temperature would increase, ”he says.

However, Santillana states that this “does not rule out the possibility that temperature and humidity may play a modified role on COVID-19 transmission as they do in influenza transmission.” He explains that in epidemics, “susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses was very high and thus transmission was explosive,” making it difficult to identify the impact of environmental factors (such as weather) due to transmission rates.

But “as more people become infected – and hopefully immune to COVID-19 – we can see a more pronounced effect of temperature and humidity on transmission, and over time it can become a more seasonal disease, “Says Santillana.

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer Drs. Ian Gonsenhauser is not surprised by the latest findings. “Since we know about COVID and its potential global impact, there has been speculation about the pattern and duration of its spread,” Gonsenhauser tells Yahoo Life. “While there is speculation that COVID-19 will exhibit seasonality, there has been little supporting evidence of that speculation. If anything, like the data that was presented in this study Nature And some others suggest that this is incorrect. Finally, it is too early to draw any valid conclusions regarding COVID-19 seasonality. ”

Scientists do not yet know whether coronovirus will eventually become less severe. However, it mutates slowly, ”says Gonsehauser, with little evidence to support the hypothesis that the virus will weaken over time. “We have strong evidence that the virus is more serious on reinfection, but these accounts are extremely limited. We have no evidence to suggest how individuals who have received the vaccine will react. For example, frequent influenza vaccines significantly reduce the severity of influenza for those who have been vaccinated but still contract the virus. ”

He says: “As more of the population either experiences infection with COVID or is just exposed without becoming infected, we can see the severity of individual cases lessened. But this is pure speculation and not supported by comparisons to influenza, nor supported by scientific evidence at this time. ”

However, Santillana says doctors “certainly have done better in treating patients affected by COVID-19,” and, as a result, “fewer people may die of the disease in the future.”

So if more evidence shows that COVID-19 is not seasonal, what will be its effect on people throughout the year? Gonsenhauser says it is a difficult question to answer right now. “At this point, the virus is still novel and most people have never been exposed to it,” he says. “We don’t really have a conclusive understanding of coincidences or reinvestments or how the virus’s response can change over time.”

But people should plan to wear masks, maintain physical disturbances and practice good hand hygiene for some time. “For the immediate future, we should expect the most to continue, if we do not take precautions for the present indefinitely,” says Gonsenhauser. “As we learn more, it will be subject to change.”

Santillana agrees: “For now, we have seen that COVID-19 transmission has not slowed down during the warmer months – this means we have to follow preventive measures throughout the year to protect the most vulnerable groups. This may change. Is because more people become infected and / or if an effective and widely available vaccine becomes available. “

for Latest Coronavirus news and updates, Follow along https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, those over 60 and those who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk. If you have any questions, please see CDC‘Sand Who is it Resource guide.

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