The infectious nature of COVID-19 is what’s made it much more dangerous than other viruses and now we may have a little insight into why.
Viruses are transmitted primarily through airborne droplets. That can come from breathing or coughing. Basically, anytime you exhale. Two researchers from a university in Cyprus have now proven that weather can impact those airborne droplets.
They suggest the virus may behave differently mainly due to its structure. That structure helps it stay alive in environments that other viruses would have a hard time surviving in.
In this study, it was found that certain environmental conditions – whether indoors or outside – could affect how long COVID 19 can survive in the air.
Included in the study were different temperatures, relative humidity values, and wind speeds. The optimal temperature range for the virus to survive in the air is 75 degrees or colder with high relative humidity values of 65% or higher…so the higher humidity the better.
The study showed that the lower the humidity values, the drier the air, and the more evaporation of the airborne droplets which lowered the virus’s survival rate. This contradicts what we know about other viruses, where lower humidity helps keep the virus airborne.
It was also discovered that at wind speeds of just two and a half to around nine miles per hour, the virus can travel nearly twenty feet… but the further it travels, the lesser it’s concentration and droplet size.
It’s important to understand there are still several ways you can contract the virus. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be transmitted in any other weather conditions, just that there are optimal weather conditions for the airborne droplets containing the virus to survive a little longer. Studies like this one are understood in conjunction with other new data we continue to get all the time about COVID-19. This can help us guide our safety measures going forward.
The more knowledge we have for the future, the better equipped we are in fighting the pandemic. Hence, knowledge is power. When studies like this are released and contradict what we know about the virus, it can frustrate and confuse the public. But we’re on the ground level of new studies. Contradicting studies in science happen all the time. It’s natural and supposed to happen, so down the road, we have a firm grasp of whatever we’re studying. In this case, an infectious virus.
Here is the full study from the American Institute of Physics: https://bit.ly/34BLhmj