Summer is coming. Will it slow the spread of the coronavirus?

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Credit: SUWalls

A team of researchers unveiled the results of a new study last week that looked at how temperature and humidity may affect the transmission of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

According to the researchers’ findings, “High temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19.” An increase of just one degree Celsius and 1% relative humidity increase substantially lower the virus’s transmission, according to the data analyzed by the researchers.

The study is the latest in a limited but growing body of research, not all of which has been peer-reviewed, that examines the effect of weather on the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 illness.

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The researchers studied 100 different Chinese cities that each had more than 40 cases of COVID-19 from Jan. 21 to 23. According to AccuWeather Senior Weather Editor and Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell, the decision to study transmission on those dates was critical because that time period was before China intervened on Jan. 24 to stop the spread of the virus.

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In applying the paper’s findings to the forecast temperatures and humidity, the authors concluded that the arrival of summer and rainy seasons in the Northern Hemisphere can “effectively reduce the transmission of COVID-19.”

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