How weather conditions and pollution can affect the spread of the pandemic

A study published in the journal Nature Research – Scientific Report conducted by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Analysis Methodologies (Cnr-Imaa) has shown how different weather conditions and air quality can influence the spread of the pandemic from Covid-19.

The results highlight that parameters such as temperature and humidity are negatively correlated with the number of patients admitted to intensive care, a figure of merit used in the work to assess the spread of the pandemic on the national territory. A further correlation, weakly positive, was found with the presence of particulate matter in the atmosphere. In essence, this means that the virus propagates more easily in humid and cool environments, in particular with a higher level of air pollution. It is also worth pointing out that the results of the study do not necessarily imply a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the virus and factors such as temperature and humidity, but, for example, that climatic conditions could affect human behavior, encouraging aggregation in enclosed spaces.

The result obtained is confirmed through an analysis performed on two different Italian metropolitan areas such as Milan and Florence and Trento County.


The study is particularly innovative because, compared to other similar studies, for the first time the meteorological and air quality parameters were correlated not with the number of daily positives, variable conditioned in a non-trivial way by the number of buffers performed, but with the number of patients hospitalized in intensive care. In particular, the epidemiological model was estimated starting from the available statistical evidence, and compensated in order to purge the correlations calculated by the main effects such as the implementation of forced social distancing measures aimed at reducing pandemic spread. The proposed approach thus makes the results independent of the number of daily swabs performed and, above all, of the natural course of an epidemic.


For information:
Simone Lolli
CNR – Istituto di metodologie per l’analisi ambientale
C.da Santa Loja, Zona Industriale, Tito Scalo (PZ)

See more: Impact of meteorological conditions and air pollution on COVID-19 pandemic transmission in Italy, Simone Lolli, Ying-Chieh Chen, Sheng-Hsiang Wang & Gemine Vivone


Source: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche 




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