Meteorological Impacts on the Incidence of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
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© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. Since the World Health Organization has declared the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic, some have been anticipating that the mitigation could happen in the summer like seasonal influenza, while medical solutions are still in a slow progress. Experimental studies have revealed a few evidences that coronavirus decayed quickly under the exposure of heat and humidity. This study aims to carry out an epidemiological investigation to establish the association between meteorological factors and COVID-19 in high risk areas of the United States (U.S.). We analyzed daily new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven meteorological measures in top 50 U.S. counties with the most accumulative confirmed cases from March 22, 2020 to April 22, 2020. Our analyses indicate that each meteorological factor and COVID-19 more likely have a nonlinear association rather than a linear association over the wide ranges of temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation observed. Average temperature, minimum relative humidity, and precipitation were better predictors to address the meteorological impact on COVID-19. By including all the three meteorological factors in the same model with their lagged effects up to 3 days, the overall impact of the average temperature on COVID-19 was found to peak at 68.45 °F and decrease at higher degrees, though the overall relative risk percentage (RR %) reduction did not become significantly negative up to 85 °F. There was a generally downward trend of RR % with the increase of minimum relative humidity; nonetheless, the trend reversed when the minimum relative humidity exceeded 91.42%. The overall RR % of COVID-19 climbed to the highest level of 232.07% (95% confidence interval = 199.77, 267.85) with 1.60 inches of precipitation, and then started to decrease. When precipitation exceeded 1.85 inches, its impact on COVID-19 became significantly negative. Our findings alert people to better have self-protection during the pandemic rather than expecting that the natural environment can curb coronavirus for human beings.
COVID-19; Precipitation; Relative humidity; Temperature
Environmental Public Health
Meteorological Impacts on the Incidence of COVID-19 in the U.S..
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 34(10),