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COVID-19 Behavior Seems Consistent With Seasonal Virus

Eight cities with substantial community spread located on narrow band, on 30- to 50-degree N corridor

THURSDAY, June 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Eight cities with substantial community outbreaks of COVID-19 are distributed along restricted latitude, temperature, and humidity measurements, consistent with behavior of a seasonal respiratory virus, according to a study published online June 11 in JAMA Network Open.

Mohammad M. Sajadi, M.D., from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined climate data from 50 cities worldwide with and without substantial community spread of COVID-19. Eight cities with substantial COVID-19 spread were compared to 42 that had not been affected or did not have substantial community spread.

The researchers found that the cities with substantial community spread were located on a narrow band, roughly on the 30- to 50-degree N corridor. Consistently similar weather patterns were reported in these cities, with mean temperatures between 5 and 11 degrees Celsius, combined with low specific and absolute humidity (3 to 6 g/kg and 4 to 7 g/m³, respectively). In expected locations based on proximity, there was a lack of substantial community establishment. For example, Moscow (56.0 degrees N) had no deaths and 10 cases, and Hanoi, Vietnam (21.2 degrees N) had no deaths and 31 cases, while Wuhan, China (30.8 degrees N) had 3,136 deaths and 80,757 cases.

"Using weather modeling, it may be possible to estimate the regions most likely to be at higher risk of substantial community spread of COVID-19 in the upcoming weeks and months, allowing for a concentration of public health efforts on surveillance and containment," the authors write.

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