Does Weather Affect Spread Of Coronavirus
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Does Weather Affect Spread Of Coronavirus?

According to the US government study, the novel coronavirus doesn’t last long in nonporous surfaces like door handles when exposed to higher temperatures, humidity, and sunlight.

Bill Bryan, an undersecretary at the Homeland Security Department said the virus is dying at a much more rapid pace when exposed to humidity or heat.

President Donald Trump suggested in February that warmer spring temperatures could eliminate cases by this month as he expressed interest in whether summer would end the outbreak of the virus.

The coronavirus has killed around 52,000 and infected more than 905,333 in the US.

The new study suggested practical tips for many Americans including increasing the humidity and temperature for potentially contaminated indoor spaces to kill the viruses on the surface.

For example, the research showed that the virus would not last more than two minutes on porous surfaces at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 80% humidity in the summer sun. But extra care is needed in dry environments, said Bryan.

After Bryan’s presentation, Trump seemed intrigued by the research.

Trump said, “Suppose we hit the body with a tremendous ultraviolet or just very powerful light, I think

that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it.”

Since UV light can cause skin irritation, the World Health Organization warned against using UV lamps to sterilize the body.

The research also showed that bleach could kill the virus in respiratory fluids or saliva in five minutes. The virus could be killed even quickly using isopropyl alcohol. Trump had suggested studying if disinfectants could be injected inside.

But experts clarified that inhaling bleach could damage the lungs. It’s a toxic material

John Balmes, a pulmonologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital said “Inhaling chlorine bleach would be absolutely the worst thing for the lungs”. The lungs are not supposed to be exposed to even an aerosol of disinfectant.

Balmes said in a telephonic interview that even a low dilution of isopropyl alcohol or bleach is not safe for lungs, it’s a ridiculous concept. Scientists are currently studying if the weather would affect the spread of coronavirus

An important practice in infection control is disinfecting surfaces. The coronavirus is very weak outside the body. But in cleaning the virus and stopping transmission, handwashing with soap is particularly effective.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, poisonings related to disinfectants and cleaners rose significantly in March. The CDC urged people to be careful while using cleaners and disinfectants. A woman in one case used bleach solution, vinegar, and hot water to soak her vegetables and was later sent to the hospital.

An important question is being raised in the US as the states plan to roll back social-distancing restrictions, whether the summer would impact the virus or bring a new outbreak.

In the transmission of infectious diseases, UV rays and weather play a major role. Cold temperature and dry air are often correlated with the transmission of flu. A study showed that peaks of the flu virus between 2010 and 2018 coincided with low temperature and low UV indexes.

William Schaffner, an infectious disease professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee said not all coronaviruses show strong seasonal variation, and it’s not clear that this one will.

“One should not assume that we are going to be rescued by a change in the weather”, said Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health scientist.

Certain types of UV light may act as a sort of disinfectant according to the studies of other coronaviruses. One of the three types of ultraviolet light, the UVC is often used to sterilize medical equipment. Robots that use UVC for sterilization is being used in the hospitals of Italy and China.

Another study from Southern China recently reported that UV rays and heat have no effect on the virus, contradicting the new study that explores how weather affects the spread of coronavirus.

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