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Environ Res ; 193: 110355, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893763


BACKGROUND: It is unknown if COVID-19 will exhibit seasonal pattern as other diseases e.g., seasonal influenza. Similarly, some environmental factors (e.g., temperature, humidity) have been shown to be associated with transmission of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but global data on their association with COVID-19 are scarce. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between climatic factors and COVID-19. METHODS: We used multilevel mixed-effects (two-level random-intercepts) negative binomial regression models to examine the association between 7- and 14-day-lagged temperature, humidity (relative and absolute), wind speed and UV index and COVID-19 cases, adjusting for Gross Domestic Products, Global Health Security Index, cloud cover (%), precipitation (mm), sea-level air-pressure (mb), and daytime length. The effects estimates are reported as adjusted rate ratio (aRR) and their corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: Data from 206 countries/regions (until April 20, 2020) with ≥100 reported cases showed no association between COVID-19 cases and 7-day-lagged temperature, relative humidity, UV index, and wind speed, after adjusting for potential confounders, but a positive association with 14-day-lagged temperature and a negative association with 14-day-lagged wind speed. Compared to an absolute humidity of <5 g/m3, an absolute humidity of 5-10 g/m3 was associated with a 23% (95% CI: 6-42%) higher rate of COVID-19 cases, while absolute humidity >10 g/m3 did not have a significant effect. These findings were robust in the 14-day-lagged analysis. CONCLUSION: Our results of higher COVID-19 cases (through April 20) at absolute humidity of 5-10 g/m3 may be suggestive of a 'sweet point' for viral transmission, however only controlled laboratory experiments can decisively prove it.

COVID-19 , Humans , Humidity , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature , Wind
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(15)2020 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680163


The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. While influenza virus shows seasonality, it is unknown if COVID-19 has any weather-related affect. In this work, we analyze the patterns in local weather of all the regions affected by COVID-19 globally. Our results indicate that approximately 85% of the COVID-19 reported cases until 1 May 2020, making approximately 3 million reported cases (out of approximately 29 million tests performed) have occurred in regions with temperature between 3 and 17 °C and absolute humidity between 1 and 9 g/m3. Similarly, hot and humid regions outside these ranges have only reported around 15% or approximately 0.5 million cases (out of approximately 7 million tests performed). This suggests that weather might be playing a role in COVID-19 spread across the world. However, this role could be limited in US and European cities (above 45 N), as mean temperature and absolute humidity levels do not reach these ranges even during the peak summer months. For hot and humid countries, most of them have already been experiencing temperatures >35 °C and absolute humidity >9 g/m3 since the beginning of March, and therefore the effect of weather, however little it is, has already been accounted for in the COVID-19 spread in those regions, and they must take strict social distancing measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19. Our analysis showed that the effect of weather may have only resulted in comparatively slower spread of COVID-19, but not halted it. We found that cases in warm and humid countries have consistently increased, accounting for approximately 500,000 cases in regions with absolute humidity >9 g/m3, therefore effective public health interventions must be implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19. This also means that 'summer' would not alone stop the spread of COVID-19 in any part of the world.

Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Weather , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cities , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons , Temperature
BMJ ; 370: m2743, 2020 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-645530


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between physical distancing interventions and incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) globally. DESIGN: Natural experiment using interrupted time series analysis, with results synthesised using meta-analysis. SETTING: 149 countries or regions, with data on daily reported cases of covid-19 from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and data on the physical distancing policies from the Oxford covid-19 Government Response Tracker. PARTICIPANTS: Individual countries or regions that implemented one of the five physical distancing interventions (closures of schools, workplaces, and public transport, restrictions on mass gatherings and public events, and restrictions on movement (lockdowns)) between 1 January and 30 May 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of covid-19 before and after implementation of physical distancing interventions, estimated using data to 30 May 2020 or 30 days post-intervention, whichever occurred first. IRRs were synthesised across countries using random effects meta-analysis. RESULTS: On average, implementation of any physical distancing intervention was associated with an overall reduction in covid-19 incidence of 13% (IRR 0.87, 95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.89; n=149 countries). Closure of public transport was not associated with any additional reduction in covid-19 incidence when the other four physical distancing interventions were in place (pooled IRR with and without public transport closure was 0.85, 0.82 to 0.88; n=72, and 0.87, 0.84 to 0.91; n=32, respectively). Data from 11 countries also suggested similar overall effectiveness (pooled IRR 0.85, 0.81 to 0.89) when school closures, workplace closures, and restrictions on mass gatherings were in place. In terms of sequence of interventions, earlier implementation of lockdown was associated with a larger reduction in covid-19 incidence (pooled IRR 0.86, 0.84 to 0.89; n=105) compared with a delayed implementation of lockdown after other physical distancing interventions were in place (pooled IRR 0.90, 0.87 to 0.94; n=41). CONCLUSIONS: Physical distancing interventions were associated with reductions in the incidence of covid-19 globally. No evidence was found of an additional effect of public transport closure when the other four physical distancing measures were in place. Earlier implementation of lockdown was associated with a larger reduction in the incidence of covid-19. These findings might support policy decisions as countries prepare to impose or lift physical distancing measures in current or future epidemic waves.

Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Social Isolation , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Incidence , Internationality , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , SARS-CoV-2