16.03.2020 change 16.03.2020

Coronavirus Will Not Disappear Come Spring

Credit: EPA/ROB ENGELAAR  04.03.2020 Credit: EPA/ROB ENGELAAR 04.03.2020

Experts have warned that coronavirus will not disappear by spring or summer.

Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski, a lecturer in immunology and infection therapy at the School of Public Health CMKP, said that although the COVID-19 disease is spreading in countries where temperatures currently range from 0 to plus 20 degrees Celsius, warmer summer temperatures will not prevent it spreading further. 

He said: “I do not expect higher temperature and UV solar radiation alone to stop the virus.

“I would like to remind you that the virus lives and thrives in people whose body temperature is 36.6 degrees Celsius.” 

He was joined in his assessment by Dr. Maciej Przybylski from the Department of Medical Microbiology of the Medical University of Warsaw who said that because we still do not know the annual cycle of the virus, it is difficult to make accurate predictions about its spread. 

He added that although air temperature increase could slow down the development of the epidemic, “it can be predicted that it will be another respiratory virus that will constantly circulate in the human population.”

Higher temperatures may, however, be relevant when it comes to contact transmission of the virus because the virus will live shorter on various surfaces which can contribute to a smaller number of cases. 

Dr. Grzesiowski said: “When it's warmer, we go outside more often, we spend less time in closed rooms, we open the windows more often. Thus, we will naturally create more difficult conditions for the virus to spread.” 

He added that the epidemiological situation in Poland is now stable and the country is still in a pre-epidemic stage.

The new SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19. Its symptoms usually include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, muscle aches and fatigue. 

It is suspected that coronavirus infection, which can cause life-threatening pneumonia, occurred in China at the end of 2019 at a market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

PAP - Science in Poland, Szymon Zdziebłowski

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