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Covid-19 is sensitive to high temperatures?

A new study claims that the virus that causes Covid-19 spreads fastest in ideal temperatures. But many experts warn people not to think it will respond to seasonal changes like the common flu.

The study, led by a team of scientists at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, aimed to determine how the spread of Covid-19 is affected by changes in temperature and seasons.

The study says that temperature can dramatically change the spread of Covid-19, and that the pathogen is "very sensitive to high temperatures", which could prevent it from spreading in countries with warmer climates. . Therefore, the study said that "countries and regions with low temperature background should apply stricter control measures".

The study said countries with warm climates, such as Singapore, have an advantage in the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic. Photo: EPA
The study said countries with warm climates, such as Singapore, have an advantage in the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic. Photo: EPA

The team used data on confirmed cases around the world from January 20 to February 4, including more than 400 Chinese cities and regions. Those figures were compared with weather and temperature data across China and the capitals of each affected country.

The analysis showed that the number of infections increased rapidly with average temperatures peaking at 8.72 degrees Celsius. The study also suggested that climate played a role in making Wuhan become the first place where Covid-19 broke out.

Many governments and health officials are hoping that Covid-19 will become less virulent as temperatures warm, like other viruses that cause flu.

Other experts like Hassan Zaraket, assistant director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the American University of Beirut, say warmer and wetter temperatures could make Covid-19 less stable, making it harder more spread.

"We're still working on this virus, but based on what we know about other coronaviruses we can hope so," he said. This expert thinks that if that is the case, the areas where Covid-19 has not yet broken out will be the luckiest because the weather is warming.

However, Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO) health emergencies program, urged people not to assume that Covid-19 will automatically decline in the summer. “We have to assume that the virus will continue to remain contagious. It would be wrong to expect Covid-19 to disappear like the flu… We can't assume that. There is no evidence yet,” Ryan said.

More than 15 million people in northern Italy were placed under mandatory quarantine after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte approved a plan to strictly restrict access in a large area including the tourist city of Venice and the financial center of Milan in the coming weeks. almost 1 month.

If there is no "serious" purpose, such as unexpected work or family problems, people will not be allowed to enter or leave the quarantine areas, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. This approach is similar to the one applied in Hubei, China.

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