By Chris King • 25 October 2021 • 4:30
Vaccination points without an appointment in Almeria.
A study into Covid-19 by ISGlobal was published last Thursday, October 21 in the scientific journal ‘Nature Computational Science‘. It concluded that the virus is a seasonal disease, associated with low temperatures and humidity, like the common flu.
Developed by Spanish scientists, this research also highlighted the need to adopt measures that promote air hygiene, and the important role that aerosols play in the transmission of coronavirus infections.
To build the base of their report, ISGlobal scientists studied what had been happening around the globe at the start of the pandemic. This was a period before any public health policies had been brought into force, and a negative link was discovered between temperature and humidity, and the reported transmission rates of the virus.
Higher transmission rates were found in places that had a lower temperature, or low humidity. This of course is similar to other respiratory viruses. After this discovery, the team went on to analyse the evolution between climates and transmission rates over time.
Experts determined that during the first pandemic the waves grew as the temperature and humidity decreased. In relation, waves decreased with increasing temperature and humidity.
ISGlobal researcher, Alejandro Fontal, the principal author of the study, explained how they then discovered a paradox when summer arrived. On all the continents, they noticed a rise in infection rates. So, why did this happen when it got hotter?
“This could be due to several factors”, said Fontal, “including large concentrations of young people, tourism and air conditioning, among others”. He believed that meeting in closed and poorly ventilated places could also be a decisive factor in the increase in cases.
Scientists had always believed that when someone expelled infected droplets of saliva that reached another person, that was how most respiratory virus infections spread. But, Covid dispelled that theory. These experts now agree that most infections occur via tiny particles that accumulate in the air indoors and remain suspended even for several hours.
In this instance, when the humidity drops, the aerosols that carry any respiratory virus reduce in size. This means they can remain in the air for longer periods, and this increases the transmission not only of Covid-19 but also of flu and colds.
Fontal reiterated, “All of our results support the idea that Covid-19 is a truly seasonal infection, similar to the flu and other common cold viruses”, as reported by surinenglish.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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