It has not been proven that coronavirus thrive during the rainy season

The Claim: Does the coronavirus thrive during the rainy season?
The Verdict: claim verdict

While research has shown that weather conditions to a certain extent influence the thriving of the coronavirus there is no direct evidence pointing to the fast spreading of Covid-19 during the rainy season.

On 23 March 2020 the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) published an article to the effect that weather conditions influence the transmission of Covid-19. However, there was no direct reference to the rainy season.

“Emerging evidence appears to suggest that weather conditions may influence the transmission of COVID-19, with cold and dry conditions appearing to boost the spread. The weather effect is minimal, however, and all estimates are subject to significant biases, reinforcing the need for robust public health measures,” reads the article.

According to Frontiers in Public Health there are contradictory conclusions about the roles of temperature and humidity on the Covid-19 transmission.

“Various reports have drawn contradictory conclusions even when using the similar meteorological data and epidemic data collected in cities in China from January to April 2020. For example, Liu et al. (1) analyzed meteorological data of 30 cities in China and suggested that low temperature, mild diurnal temperatures, and low humidity likely aid the transmission of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Shi et al. (2) also suggested that the incidence of COVID-19 decreases with an increase in temperature. Qi et al. (3) further showed that both temperature and humidity were negative associated with COVID-19,” reads the report.

The global spread of COVID-19, has been tied to climatic factors, which have a biological basis, according to the News Medical Life Sciences.

“Further, previous studies have shown that temperature and relative humidity can affect the spread of SARS-CoV-2 through virus survival, wherein they thrive longer in lower temperatures, and the length of time infectious respiratory matter stays suspended in the air. In lower humidity, more virus material stays suspended for longer,” says the report.

It is important to note that research on the conditions under which Covid-19 thrives is still ongoing although there is general consensus that the novel disease thrives under cold weather.

Background: In an article published by the Chronicle newspaper on 5 November 2020 under the headline: “UBH gets ready for Covid-19 patients,” United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) acting chief executive officer, Dr Narcisius Dzvanga is quoted as saying coronaviruses cases might go up in the country during the rainy season.

“We are not yet out of danger and it’s a virus that prefers humidity and cold weather,” said Dzvanga.

“You might realise that we are now in the rainy season and cases might spike again. Overall, we (UBH) have had 64 admissions since the Covid-19 started. We receive at least two patients per week. That gives an insight of the magnitude of the problem that we still have.”

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