Does the cold weather affect number of cases in COVID – 19?
Several studies have shown that spread of COVID-19 is favored by cool and dry conditions. Experience with other viruses of the same family such as the SARS-COV1 and MERS-COV has also been similar. The virus is more viable and reproduces more effectively in these conditions.
In addition, respiratory droplets, which are considered vehicles for the virus, are more stable in dry conditions. The increased occurrence of common viral infections causing cold and cough also increases the propensity of droplet formation.
The inner lining of the nose is more prone for small ruptures in cold climates, creating further opportunities for the virus to invade.
Exposure to Cool air
One would have noticed that on exposure to cool air, our nose becomes congested. This is a normal mechanism in our body to protect us from the cold and is due to a narrowing of vessels in the nasal mucous membrane.
A cooler core body temperature and cooling of body surface also results in the same process of constriction of blood vessels, which increases blood pressure throughout the respiratory system. While this mechanism is designed to protect us from the cold, this narrowing is also associated with a lowering of defenses in our immune system.
Covid-19 Vaccine and Rising temperatures
With the vaccination drive and rising temperatures in 1-2 months from now, we can expect the number of cases to come down again.
But it is not just about the weather, the numbers can come down for certain only if we continue to diligently take precautions.
Proper use of face masks is absolutely important along with other safety measures.
All the efforts put in by the authorities can come to fruition only if we fulfill our responsibilities to ourselves and our fellow residents sincerely.
Keep your masks up and your hands clean at all times! We may have shifted towards the ‘new Normal’ but the threat of the virus and re-infection still lingers.