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High levels of ultraviolet light 'most strongly' associated with reduced growth of COVID-19

A new study, in which scientists looked at statistical models of the link between weather and the maximum growth rate of COVID-19 globally, found that high levels of ultraviolet light are "most strongly" associated with reduced growth of the deadly virus.

ANI | Connecticut | Updated: 18-10-2020 22:03 IST | Created: 18-10-2020 22:03 IST
High levels of ultraviolet light 'most strongly' associated with reduced growth of COVID-19
Representative image. Image Credit: ANI

A new study, in which scientists looked at statistical models of the link between weather and the maximum growth rate of COVID-19 globally, found that high levels of ultraviolet light are "most strongly" associated with reduced growth of the deadly virus. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday said researchers based on the finding, predicted that maximum COVID-19 growth would decline in the summer but rebound during autumn and peak in the winter, albeit with a high degree of uncertainty, indicating that continued social intervention may be necessary.

"Statistical models of the link between weather and the maximum growth rate of COVID-19 worldwide suggest that high levels of ultraviolet light correlated with reduced COVID-19 growth; based on this finding, researchers predicted that maximum COVID-19 growth would decline in the summer but rebound during autumn and peak in the winter, albeit with a high degree of uncertainty, indicating that continued social intervention may be necessary, according to the authors," said the research paper. The research article from Cory Merow and Mark C. Urban states that "It remains unknown, as of April 2020, whether summer will reduce its spread, thereby alleviating strains on hospitals and providing time for vaccine development."It pointed out that early insights from laboratory studies and research on related viruses predicted that COVID-19 would decline with higher temperatures, humidity, and ultraviolet (UV) light.

"Using current, fine-scaled weather data and global reports of infections, we develop a model that explains 36 per cent of the variation in maximum COVID-19 growth rates based on weather and demography (17 per cent) and country-specific effects (19 per cent)," it added."The ultraviolet light is most strongly associated with lower COVID-19 growth. Projections suggest that, without intervention, COVID-19 will decrease temporarily during summer, rebound by autumn, and peak next winter," the article read. The study further pointed out that validation based on data from May and June 2020 confirms the generality of the climate signal detected.

"However, uncertainty remains high, and the probability of weekly doubling rates remains >20 per cent throughout summer in the absence of social interventions. Consequently, aggressive interventions will likely be needed despite seasonal trends," the study said further. As per the latest updates by Johns Hopkins University, there are 38,032,320 COVID-19 cases globally and 1,084,336 deaths due to the pathogen. The US continues to be the worst-affected country in the world with 7,852,008 cases and 215,803 deaths.

India and Brazil are the other two most-affected countries after the US from the pathogen. (ANI)


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