Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Summer Heat Won't Kill the Coronavirus, New Study Says

Health + Wellness
Summer Heat Won't Kill the Coronavirus, New Study Says
People sit in circles to observe social distance in Domino Park amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 21, 2020 in New York City. New research says preventative measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks should not be relaxed as temperatures warm up. Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images

Researchers have found that warm temperatures in the U.S. this summer are unlikely to stop the coronavirus that causes the infectious disease COVID-19, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease.


The findings of the scientists refute President Trump's claim in March that "when it gets a little warmer [the virus] miraculously goes away." It also refutes his insistence in April, when he cited Department of Homeland Security data, that summer heat will kill the virus, which led him to wonder about shining a UV light inside the body or injecting disinfectant into the bloodstream, both of which are extremely dangerous.

While the flu is seasonal, researchers who have tested the coronavirus in the lab found that the coronavirus is sensitive to heat and light, but those are at extremes. Summer temperatures may account for a slight decline in cases, but nothing that will allow us to return to normal or kill the virus, as Newsweek reported.

"There is an association between temperature and rate of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus which may result in modest decline in the community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 with warmer weather," the researchers wrote in their conclusion, according to Newsweek. "This effect is modest, however, and is unlikely to slow down disease spread if containment measures are relaxed."

Higher humidity and warmer temperatures seem to make the virus less stable. In warmer temperatures, the small virus-bearing droplets sent into the air by a cough or sneeze are more likely to attract water vapor, become heavier and drop out of the air before infecting someone. The opposite happens during colder, drier conditions when the droplets are lighter and stay airborne for longer, as WPIX in New York reported.

Co-author Dr. Shiv T. Sehra, assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement, according to Newsweek: "While the rate of virus transmission may slow down as the maximum daily temperature rises to around 50 degrees [Farenheit], the effects of temperature rise beyond that don't seem to be significant.

"Based on our analysis, the modest association suggests that it is unlikely that disease transmission will slow dramatically in the summer months from the increase in temperature alone."

The team, led by Harvard researchers, says the findings are evidence we should not forego preventative measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks just because the temperature has warmed up, as the Daily Mail reported.

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch