Published on Fri Dec 18 2020

COVID19 is a seasonal climate-driven disease across both hemispheres

Fontal, A., Bouma, M. J., San Jose, A., Pascual, M., Rodo, X.

The role of climate in the population dynamics of COVID-19 remains poorly understood, and a true seasonal signature has remained elusive. Data from both hemispheres and the second wave provide opportunities to further examine climatic drivers.

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Abstract

The role of climate in the population dynamics of COVID-19 remains poorly understood, and a true seasonal signature has remained elusive. Data from both hemispheres and the second wave provide opportunities to further examine climatic drivers. With a statistical method designed to detect transitory associations, we show consistent negative effects of temperature and absolute humidity at large spatial scales. At finer spatial resolutions we substantiate these connections during the seasonal rise and fall of COVID-19. Strong disease responses are identified between 12-18{degrees}C for Temperature and 4-12 g/m3 for Absolute Humidity. These results classify COVID-19 as a seasonal low-temperature infection, and point to the airborne pathway as an important contribution to transmission for SARS-CoV-2, with implications for control measures we discuss.