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'Summer is not going to make this go away,' study concludes

the Canadian Medical Association Journal
the World Health Organization’s
the University of Toronto

Peter Jüni
Dionne Gesink


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the United States
South Korea

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The New York Times
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Some scientists are trying to identify factors that reduce the speed of its spread.The authors of a recent study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, asked whether school closures and other public health interventions result in a slowdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.They also assessed whether geographical and meteorological factors play a part in curtailing the pandemic, including latitude, temperature, and humidity.As expected, the authors found that “public health interventions were strongly associated with reduced epidemic growth.” However, more surprisingly, they concluded that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 was not associated with temperature.Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.Scientists have established that influenza outbreaks — the most well-studied respiratory viral outbreaks — are associated with changes in climate; they tend to occur during colder months. As the authors explain, “These three characteristics are all associated with geographic latitude, a measure that can be determined effortlessly and with precision.”The fact that schools tend to close over the summer months could also play a part in reducing the risk of influenza outbreaks.For the recent study, the researchers focused on data taken from ‘geopolitical areas with documented outbreaks of COVID-19’ during 2 separate weeks. The authors write:“[I]t is of considerable importance that we found strong negative associations with three public health interventions commonly used to contain the COVID-19 pandemic: restrictions of mass gatherings, school closures and measures of social distancing.”Another author, Prof.

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