Summer is approaching. The weather gets more beautiful, and soon it will be quite hard to stay inside our homes. With the novel coronavirus pandemic, authorities will have to pay more attention and take appropriate measures to control the crowds and gatherings. Some regions are enjoying the 20C weather already.
Scientists believe that the weather could affect the virus in the right way. The warmer weather will help the experts see the virus from a different perspective. Most of the flue epidemics die after the winter is over; therefore, the coronavirus could be affected as well. Will the Sun help stop the spreading of the COVID-19? Epidemiologists are keeping a comprehensive eye open on this virus to see what effect will the weather has on it.
Looking at some of the early studies on coronaviruses, we can see a small seasonal pattern. The flu epidemics in the UK are most of the time caused by the common coronaviruses. Typically, people get the colds during winter and then disappear during spring. That means that coronavirus will not be transmitted in the summer at a fast pace as of now.
A study was done on the common coronaviruses, such as HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, and HCoV-229E. The study was issued last week, and it reveals that during February, there is a higher rate of infections in the summertime. During the summer, the rate of infections is meager. The scientists at University College London explain that the study was done on samples collected several years ago, which were then analyzed. According to other studies, coronaviruses are seasonal.
“We could see continued but lower levels of coronavirus transmission in summer, but this may reverse in the winter if there is still a largely susceptible population at that point,” said Rob Aldridge, the lead author of the study.
How the summer heat can affect coronavirus and COVID-19
“And given this is a novel virus, we don’t know if a seasonal pattern will hold over the summer, given high levels of susceptibility in the population. For this reason, we all must act now to follow current health advice,” Aldridge added.
The COVID-19 virus, the new coronavirus, is a completely new infectious agent to people, which means that we need time to build up immunity. However, the population doesn’t have time to do that so fast, which means that the coronavirus will continue to spread wildly even during the summer. Other scientists have pressed on the same outcome.
“I am sure seasonal variations in the virus’s behavior will play a role in its spread,” said virologist Michael Skinner at Imperial College London. “But compared with the effect we are having with social distancing, it will be a very minor influence. It may produce some marginal effects, but these will not be a substitute for self-isolation.”
“This virus started in near-freezing conditions in China and is rapidly growing both in Iceland and on the equator in Brazil and Ecuador. As winter turned to spring, the virus growth has accelerated worldwide. This is not War of the Worlds, and there is no deus ex machina to reach out of the clouds and put this right. We have to beat the virus ourselves,” said Ben Neuman of Reading University.
The human body is affected by the seasonal changes, which means that “Our immune system displays a daily rhythm, but what is less known is how this varies from season to season,” said immunologist Natalie Riddell at Surrey University. The virus is not the only one affected by the spring, but our immune system is as well.
Studies were done on the immune changes in humans by Riddell and other experts at Surrey and Columbia Universities. The early findings show that a subgroup of white blood cells has a vital role in the immune system of the human body. Our cells respond differently, depending on the time of the day. Some cells are more elevated during the night time, for example. However, more studies have to be done on how our immune system is affected during each season.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.