Meteorological impact on the COVID-19 pandemic: A study across eight severely affected regions in South America

Sci Total Environ. 2020 Nov 20;744:140881. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140881. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Abstract

The role of meteorological factors in the transmission of the COVID-19 still needs to be determined. In this study, the daily new cases of the eight severely affected regions in four countries of South America and their corresponding meteorological data (average temperature, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, average wind speed, visibility, absolute humidity) were collected. Daily number of confirmed and incubative cases, as well as time-dependent reproductive number (Rt) was calculated to indicate the transmission of the diseases in the population. Spearman's correlation coefficients were assessed to show the correlation between meteorological factors and daily confirmed cases, daily incubative cases, as well as Rt. In particular, the results showed that there was a highly significant correlation between daily incubative cases and absolute humidity throughout the selected regions. Multiple linear regression model further confirmed the negative correlation between absolute humidity and incubative cases. The absolute humidity is predicted to show a decreasing trend in the coming months from the meteorological data of recent three years. Our results suggest the necessity of continuous controlling policy in these areas and some other complementary strategies to mitigate the contagious rate of the COVID-19.

Keywords: Absolute humidity; COVID-19; Meteorological factors; South America.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • South America
  • Temperature