New Study Reveals That Countries Hardest Hit By Covid-19 Have Similar Climates

Although it started in Wuhan, China, the Covid-19 outbreak has now spread to a total of 157 countries worldwide and infected more than 165,000 people.

The situation has gotten a lot better in China, but we can’t quite say the same about the rest of the world. Italy, Spain, Iran and South Korea are the worst-hit countries outside of China, but is there any particular reason why?

Deeply Affected Countries Have Similar Climates

Possibly.

Scientists have discovered that most of the countries with the highest number of Covid-19 cases have one thing in common: their climates.

A study conducted by scientists from the US and Iran has revealed that the virus thrives in areas with temperatures between 5-11°C and 47% to 79% humidity, according to Inkstone News.

It was published on 9 Mar 2020 and is still awaiting review from peer experts.

The countries that are most affected by the virus are located in the northern hemisphere, with a 2-metre temperature of 5-11°C.

climates map
Image: Climate Change Institute, University of Maine

Coincidence? I think not.

It turns out that it is easier for the virus to spread in cold and dry environments, which is exactly how the climates are like in these countries.

Plus, if you think about it, China and Japan were also experiencing similar climates when they were at the peak of their coronavirus outbreaks, between December to February.

Mind = blown.

Image: Giphy

Science really does have the answer to everything.

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Countries That Could Be Affected in Upcoming Weeks

According to these results, scientists are also now able to predict areas where they think the virus could possibly spread to next.

They have come up with a list of possible at-risk locations that are situated just slightly north above the current outbreak area.

covid-19 temperature charts
Image: Analysis by scientists in “Temperature and latitude analysis to predict potential spread and seasonality for COVID-19”

These include places like:

  • Vancouver
  • Hamburg
  • Berlin
  • London
  • Manchester
  • New York
  • St. Louis

So if you were thinking of going on a holiday to any of these places any time soon, perhaps it’s better to put those plans on hold for now.

Human Factors Should Still Be Taken Into Consideration

I know what you must be thinking.

The virus thrives in cold and dry environments, and Singapore is the exact opposite. So why were we one of the first few countries to be heavily affected by the outbreak?

Image: Giphy

Of course, the study is not saying that temperature is the only factor involved in the spreading of the disease.

Human factors, like close contact, still play a large role in the transmission of the coronavirus from one person to another.

Does Air-conditioning Play A Part?

The Covid-19 outbreak is highly similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003.

A lot of extensive research was done on SARS and how it did not hit many Asian countries heavily, with the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore.


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Why is that so?

A group of scientists from Hong Kong University said that this was because of the “intensive use of air-conditioning”.

Ahhh. Of course, it is no secret that Singaporeans basically rely on aircon to survive in this unbearable heat.

But does this mean that we have to switch off all air conditioners to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further? Not necessarily.

According to The Straits Times, Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), has said that there is currently no evidence that the virus can spread through air-conditioning systems.

Your aircon can’t transmit the virus to you, just like how pets and other animals can’t do so as well.


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However, it is encouraged to use less air conditioner and to keep windows and doors open during the day.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:
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