If you hope that the summer heat wave will magically kill the new coronavirus and significantly reduce the threat, then you should abandon that train of thought for now. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 outbreak is declining just because the weather is about to change. If anything, there is plenty of evidence that people living in warmer climates, such as California, Florida, Singapore, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East, are just as likely to be infected as anyone else. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) officially warns that seasonality will not affect the pandemic, and that social distancing measures have yet to be implemented to reduce the transmission rate.
"The four coronaviruses that are endemic in human populations are responsible for 10-15% of common cold infections and show a marked winter seasonality in temperate climates, with a peak between December and April, but they are barely detected in the months of summer,quot;. The ECDC wrote in a new status report on the coronavirus outbreak in Europe (via Reuters) "The seasonality of coronaviruses may be driven, in part, by environmental conditions and host susceptibility, because coronaviruses are more stable under low and medium relative humidity (20–50%) when defense mechanisms are suppressed of the respiratory tract. "
The report continues: "However, based on preliminary analyzes of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and other countries, high reproductive numbers were observed not only in dry and cold districts, but also in tropical districts with high absolute humidity, as in Guangxi and Singapore. There is no evidence to date that SARS-CoV-2 shows marked winter seasonality, like other human coronaviruses in the northern hemisphere, emphasizing the importance of implementing intervention measures such as isolation of people infected, distancing from the workplace and closing schools. "
The agency said existing capacity for all intensive care beds will be exceeded across Europe in mid-April unless steps are taken to prevent the spread and increase capacity.
The report also improved the risk for the elderly and people with chronic diseases in the region from "high,quot; to "very high,quot;. At the same time, all other categories face "moderate,quot; danger from outbreaks. The overall risk for countries remains "moderate,quot; but could be "very high,quot; in the absence of social distancing measures, the agency said.
Healthcare workers are more exposed to the new coronavirus than the public, especially if they lack the proper protective equipment and protocols to deal with local outbreaks. The ECDC cited statistics from China that say 10% of reported infections were from medical personnel, above the 4% rate mentioned in other studies. Italy and Spain, the two countries most affected by the pandemic, reported infection rates of 9% and 13% respectively for health workers.
Reports that preceded the latest ECDC update on the coronavirus pandemic showed that SARS-CoV-2 is contagious in summer settings. The best example is the case of Tom Hanks. He contracted the infection in Australia, where it is summer. At least 128 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Australia at the time, precisely two weeks ago. Australia currently has almost 2,800 confirmed cases.
Singapore has 631 cases as of this writing, while Florida and California registered almost 2,000 and 3,200 cases, respectively.