The Modest Impact of Weather and Air Pollution on COVID-19 Transmission

47 Pages Posted: 11 May 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2020

See all articles by Ran Xu

Ran Xu

University of Connecticut

Hazhir Rahmandad

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Marichi Gupta

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School

Catherine DiGennaro

Massachusetts General Hospital

Navid Ghaffarzadegan

Virginia Tech

Heresh Amini

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Public Health

Mohammad S. Jalali

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School

Date Written: May 5, 2020

Abstract

Understanding how environmental factors impact COVID-19 transmission informs global containment efforts. We studied the relative risk of COVID-19 due to weather and ambient air pollution. We estimated the daily reproduction number at 3,739 global locations, controlling for the delay between infection and detection, associating those with local weather conditions and ambient air pollution. Controlling for location-specific fixed effects and local policies, we found a negative relationship between the estimated reproduction number and temperatures above 25oC, a U-shaped relationship with outdoor ultraviolet exposure, and weaker positive associations with air pressure, wind speed, precipitation, diurnal temperature, SO2, and ozone. We projected the relative risk of COVID-19 transmission due to environmental factors in 1,072 global cities. Our projections suggest warmer temperature and moderate outdoor ultraviolet exposure may offer a modest reduction in transmission; however, upcoming changes in weather alone will not be enough to fully contain the transmission of COVID-19.

Note: Funding: No funding was used to conduct this study.

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.

Suggested Citation

Xu, Ran and Rahmandad, Hazhir and Gupta, Marichi and DiGennaro, Catherine and Ghaffarzadegan, Navid and Amini, Heresh and Jalali, Mohammad S., The Modest Impact of Weather and Air Pollution on COVID-19 Transmission (May 5, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3593879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3593879

Ran Xu

University of Connecticut ( email )

Hazhir Rahmandad

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main st.
E62-442
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Marichi Gupta

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School ( email )

25 Shattuck St
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Catherine DiGennaro

Massachusetts General Hospital ( email )

55 Fruit Street Boston
Boston, MA 02114
United States

Navid Ghaffarzadegan

Virginia Tech ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Heresh Amini

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Department of Public Health ( email )

Denmark

Mohammad S. Jalali (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School ( email )

101 Merrimac St
Suite 1010
Boston, MA 02114
United States

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/jalali

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