Can hot weather really stop coronavirus? Let’s find out!

Recently, a drastic increase in the number of coronavirus infection cases in Southeast Asia has raised doubts over the theory that warmer weather could stop the spread of the virus. In many Southeast Asian countries, relatively low cases of infections had been cited as possible evidence that hot weather had been suppressing the virus. This gave hope to the United States and Europe as they head into spring.

But countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines have recorded their highest rate of infections, indicating that seasonal factors might play only a limited role in its spread.

Although there is limited knowledge about this virus, some of the symptoms are similar to those of the winter influenza. The winter influenza is seen mostly in areas with colder temperatures, though this is partly associated with people crowding together inside. Wuhan, northern Italy and parts of the United States also share similar climatic conditions.

The 2002-2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic was erased in summer. However, it is not clear if this is related to weather or if it was a result of tighter public health interventions.

The WHO (World Health Organization) says that there is no evidence that temperature would affect the coronavirus outbreak but it is an avenue that is worth exploring. Dale Fisher, Chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, coordinated by the WHO, says that the warm weather might influence the spread of the virus but will not end it. He says that the biggest factor that will help control its spread is the effectiveness with which countries are isolating cases.

With so much still uncertain about this pandemic, health experts suggest that countries should avoid relying on warmer weather to slow the spread of the coronavirus across the globe. Research suggests that it is too simplistic to suggest that the spread of this virus can be stopped with warmer climatic conditions. Other factors like human to human contact can spread this disease faster than anticipated. Environmental factors might not even affect the virus at all!

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