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Over this past weekend, coronavirus cases and deaths around the world have continued to rise. Here in the United States, summer temperatures also continue to soar, and it doesn't seem to be having much of an affect at all on curbing the spread of the disease, as some doctors previously suggested it might.
Why is that?
An article published in The Wall Street Journal explains some of the possible reasons for why the warmer temperatures and sunlight have not slowed down the transmission of the virus.
An excerpt from the article in WSJ explains,
"Just a few months back, some scientists hoped summer conditions might help tamp down coronavirus transmission.
Studies have shown simulated sunlight can inactivate the virus on surfaces and in the air, and one study found the virus deteriorates much more quickly in warmer temperatures than in cool temperatures. Some of the other coronaviruses that have long circulated in the population tend to peak in colder months and wane in the summer months, and some thought that summer heat and humidity could work to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Yet case counts of the novel coronavirus are surging in the U.S., recently hitting another single-day record of new infections.
There are three likely reasons, public-health and infectious-disease experts said. They have to do with the current levels of immunity in the population, how the virus is transmitted and how people behave.
Immunity to Covid-19 in the population is still low, the experts said, giving the virus lots of opportunities to spread. In one study published in the journal Science in May, researchers developed a model to see how seasonal changes in climate might affect the way Covid-19 spreads in cities in the U.S. and around the world.
“The main punchline of our paper is that at this early stage of the pandemic, lack of population immunity…dominates any climate effect,” said Rachel Baker, an epidemiologist at Princeton University and the lead author of the study.
Even though at least one study has suggested that sunlight can inactivate the virus on contaminated surfaces, scientists said it isn’t common to contract Covid-19 that way. Instead, health agencies have identified respiratory droplets as the major mode of transmission—when a sick person coughs, sneezes or speaks, they expel large fluid droplets that can transfer virus to someone else."
Click here to read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.