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Warmer Weather Not Expected To Change Behavior Of Coronavirus

The hope that warmer weather will slow or kill the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be proving true.

A questioner to City Limits: Coronavirus wondered if there was evidence to support that possibility: “When the weather warms is the virus expected to decrease?”

“Not as of yet,” says Dr. Aaron Ermel, IU School of Medicine clinical service line leader for the Division of Infectious Diseases. “We’ve seen some increases in our local temperatures and our case rates have been relatively the same.”

Ermel said on Noon Edition last Friday that it’s hard to look across the United States or even into Europe to find evidence that warm weather kills the coronavirus.

“You have states such as Florida and Louisiana that are suffering even more than we are,” he says.

Ermel notes there could be other factors that contribute to this, like social make-up or transportation patterns. But the areas do have naturally warmer weather. He adds that other countries that are having their summer months are still seeing a pretty large number of cases as well.

“I’m not too confident in warmer weather helping at this point,” he says. “I won’t be counting on the weather too much.”

Nor are other scientists.

Anthony Fauci is the most recognizable of them based on his frequent appearances at President Donald Trump’s news briefings on the pandemic.

“One should not assume that we are going to be rescued by a change in the weather. You must assume that the virus will continue to do its thing,” Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md. said during an interview April 9 on ABC’s Good Morning America.

In addition, coverage by science journals and The New York Times note a report released April 7 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The report says while much about the virus remains unknown, there’s little if any definitive evidence to support that summer temperatures will slow its spread.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here