Could Spring Be the End of COVID 19?


Could Spring Be the End of COVID 19?

You are probably hoping to spend the school break outside under the sun despite the current lockdown in Melbourne. Could the spring season finally be the beginning of a reduction in the transmission of the COVID-19?


I started to dig deep for an answer to this question as everyone, including you, are probably wondering about it too!


Most viruses are associated with a seasonal pattern and their peak activity increases in frequency during the autumn and spring seasons and remains high through winter. In particular, this includes viruses that attack the upper respiratory tract such as influenza viruses.


Could low humidity and temperature be the factors of spreading COVID19?

Chinese researchers recently examined the data for 30 Chinese provinces and found that the frequency of COVID19 transmission were associated with the daily temperature and relative humidity. Specifically, the reduction of daily confirmed cases was associated with an increase in the daily temperature and relative humidity.  However, the associations were not consistent all over the country.

Another study from Australian found that the number of COVID19 cases can be increased by 6% with a 1% decrease in humidity. The reason for this is due to the virus’ ability to spread easily in low humidity.

‘When there is low humidity, there’s not much water vapor in the air. So the air is very dry and that means when someone coughs, particularly an infectious person, you get aerosolised particles in the air,’ Professor Ward said, an epidemiologist in the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney (USYD).

Another study demonstrated that there is no relationship between humidity and the number of cases. The countries with low humidity have a high number of cases, while the countries with high humidity have low cases.


However, it turns out that the reduction of  COVID 19 transmission based on the climate change should not be our concern right now because the the virus is continuing to spread everywhere according to the World Health Organization.

Besides, it is still a big debate between researchers to confirm if the COVID19 is seasonal or not.

Although temperature plays a key role on viral activity, there are other factors that also affect the transmission of seasonal respiratory viruses, which include:

1) The effect of environment conditions on a person’s ability to fight the infection, such as the lack of vitamin D levels and exposure to sun.

2) The effect of behavioural changes on transmission. For example, being indoors in close contact to others during the colder months increases the rate of virus transmission.

The severity of these infectious diseases are also influenced by certain vulnerabilities, such as older age and children who have weak immune responses.

Overall, the ideal options to protect ourself include social distancing, good hygiene, and wearing masks in order to enjoy spring here in Melbourne and stay safe until we better understand the virus.

For now, we should think about what Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist from Columbia University who has studied the seasonality of respiratory viruses for decades, said:

“For SARS-CoV-2, it is too early to say, But if I were to put money on it, I would bet that there is seasonality to this virus and that, like with influenza and the endemic betacoronaviruses, it will track with environmental conditions such as temperature and especially absolute humidity.


Have a great break!

Arwa Alrehaili