As countries continue to record new coronavirus cases while struggling to find solutions to deal with the menace considering its rapid spread across continents, concerns have been raised as to how the virus can naturally be contained, questioning if a warm weather will do the trick.
While others, including US President Donald Trump, believe the spread of the virus will reduce drastically when the warm weather sets in, some believe the weather can’t necessarily be a factor.
President Trump on Feb 10, 2020 at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, said the virus, could in theory, miraculously go away in April when it gets a little warmer. And on Twitter also wrote, “as the weather heats up the virus will hopefully become weaker”. And during a meeting with various state governors in February, he said “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.
Considering that, Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles some health experts. They’ve questioned whether it’s a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple coincidence, the remarkably low rate of the infection. Till date, only five cases of infection have been officially recorded in Africa; one in Egypt, one in Algeria, one in Nigeria, and two in Senegal, with no deaths.
However, health experts purport that although warm weather may slow the spread of the virus, it won’t eradicate it and it’s too early to tell if the spread of the new coronavirus will be dampened by the warm weather.
Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, Elizabeth McGraw told Time Magazine that some strains of coronavirus, such as those that cause the common cold or influenza, typically spread during cold weather and then subside as the weather heats up but can’t ascertain if it will be a seasonal disease.
“The droplets that carry viruses do not stay suspended in humid air as long, and the warmer temperatures lead to more rapid virus degradation,” she stated.
Dr. Nancy Messionnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) however said it was “premature” to assume that coronavirus would be totally eradicated during the warm weather.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addressing this issue on their website indicated that “It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing. While it’s possible that warm weather will inhibit the spread of the disease, that doesn’t mean that COVID-19 will be eradicated in April. We may see a lull in cases, but, like other seasonal diseases, it could re-emerge months later.”