Experts: COVID-19 pandemic unlikely to ebb as weather warms

Although some pundits have suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic will dissipate with coming warm temperatures and high humidity in the Northern Hemisphere, the virus is unlikely to be seasonal in nature, according to a paper published yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

In the paper, the National Academies’ Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats said that the number of well-controlled studies showing reduced survival of the coronavirus in elevated temperatures and humidity is small and urged caution not to over-interpret these results because of varied and questionable data quality.

Even if warmth were unfavorable for COVID-19, “given the lack of host immunity globally, this reduction in transmission efficiency may not lead to a significant reduction in disease spread without the concomitant adoption of major public health interventions,” they wrote. “Given that countries currently in ‘summer’ climates, such as Australia and Iran, are experiencing rapid virus spread, a decrease in cases with increases in humidity and temperature elsewhere should not be assumed.”

University of Minnesota