Temperature, Humidity and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19

18 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2020 Last revised: 6 Apr 2020

See all articles by Mohammad M. Sajadi

Mohammad M. Sajadi

Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Global Virus Network

Parham Habibzadeh

Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

Augustin Vintzileos

University of Maryland - College Park

Shervin Shokouhi

Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

University of Maryland - College Park; The Nature Conservancy

Anthony Amoroso

Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Date Written: March 5, 2020

Abstract

Background: A significant number of infectious diseases display seasonal patterns in their incidence, including human coronaviruses. Betacoronaviruses such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV are not thought to be seasonal.

Methods: We examined climate data from cities with significant community spread of COVID-19 using ERA-5 reanalysis, and compared to areas that are either not affected, or do not have significant community spread.

Findings: To date, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, has established significant community spread in cities and regions along a narrow east west distribution roughly along the 30-50o N’ corridor at consistently similar weather patterns consisting of average temperatures of 5-11oC, combined with low specific (3-6 g/kg) and absolute humidity (4-7 g/m3). There has been a lack of significant community establishment in expected locations that are based only on population proximity and extensive population interaction through travel.

Interpretation: The distribution of significant community outbreaks along restricted latitude, temperature, and humidity are consistent with the behavior of a seasonal respiratory virus. Additionally, we have proposed a simplified model that shows a zone at increased risk for COVID-19 spread. Using weather modeling, it may be possible to predict the regions most likely to be at higher risk of significant community spread of COVID-19 in the upcoming weeks, allowing for concentration of public health efforts on surveillance and containment.

Note: Funding: M.M.S supported by NIH grant 1R01AI147870-01A1.

Conflict of Interest: None to declare.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; novel coronavirus; coronavirus; temperature; latitude; seasonality

JEL Classification: J1

Suggested Citation

Sajadi, Mohammad M. and Habibzadeh, Parham and Vintzileos, Augustin and Shokouhi, Shervin and Miralles-Wilhelm, Fernando and Amoroso, Anthony, Temperature, Humidity and Latitude Analysis to Predict Potential Spread and Seasonality for COVID-19 (March 5, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3550308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3550308

Mohammad M. Sajadi (Contact Author)

Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine ( email )

725 W. Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD MD 21201
United States

Global Virus Network ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21201

Parham Habibzadeh

Shiraz University of Medical Sciences ( email )

Zand Ave
Shiraz, Fars
Iran

Augustin Vintzileos

University of Maryland - College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Shervin Shokouhi

Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences ( email )

Tehran
Iran

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

University of Maryland - College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

The Nature Conservancy ( email )

Arlington, VA 22203-1637
United States

Anthony Amoroso

Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine ( email )

725 West Lombard St.
N544
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States

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