COVID-19: Does Weather Affect Transmission Of Coronavirus?

Health Desk
16 September 2020, Wed
Published: 10:43

COVID-19: Does Weather Affect Transmission Of Coronavirus?

The more you know about the transmission of coronavirus, the better it is for us to take preventive and precautionary measures. Apart from the human transmission, the virus can spread from surfaces that are touched by infected individuals. Wearing a mask every time you step outside and frequent washing of hands are therefore two of the most important tips to keep coronavirus away.

However, there are some myths and about coronavirus transmission doing the rounds as well. For example, Can COVID-19 be transmitted through water or mosquitoes? Or, is the transmission of the virus affected by weather?

Answering some of these queries is Dr. Sylvie Briand, Director, Department of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, in WHO's recent IGTV.

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1. Does weather affect the transmission of the virus?
This is a myth. Some countries with hot climates had had outbreaks, but similarly, countries with a cold climate have also had outbreaks. "The weather doesn't significantly affect COVID-19 transmission. What we do now, is that there are specific settings and circumstances, that affect the disease transmission. For instance, if you are in a crowded, closed space, with limited ventilation, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is higher," says Dr Briand in the video.

She goes on to add this usually happens in winter, when people tend to stay inside spaces that can be poorly ventilated, closed and sometimes crowded.

2. Can coronavirus transmit in the water?
A COVID-19 positive patient cannot transmit the infection to others if s/he enters a swimming pool, for instance. Water cannot transmit COVID-19, says Dr Briand. "If you swim in a swimming pool or pond, you cannot COVID-19 through the water. But, if you go to a swimming pool which is crowded and if you are close to other people, and if someone is infected, then others can catch the infection as well," she clarifies.

Thus, physical distancing should be maintained even in a swimming pool.

3. Can mosquitoes transmit COVID-19?
Dr Briand denies. Viruses like Zika, Chikungunya, yellow fever or dengue can be transmitted through mosquitoes.

With each pandemic, there occurs an infodemic too. Lots and lots of information and misinformation spreads and it is important for people to identify which is which. Misinformation can instill fear and anxiety in people. Look at trusted sources of information like World Health Organization, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, etc. "Be careful when you spread information through social media. Share only that information which is verified," Dr Briand recommends.

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