Q: Is COVID-19 expected to be seasonal?

A: It is unclear if COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is seasonal. Some experts have speculated that the virus is seasonal and will dissipate with warmer temperatures, though most experts agree it is too early to tell.

While studies have shown differing results, a new research paper published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Tuesday states it is unlikely that the virus is seasonal.

There is some evidence to suggest that the virus may transmit less efficiently in environments with higher ambient temperature and humidity, the study states, going on to add that “given the lack of host immunity globally, this reduction in transmission efficiency may not lead to a significant reduction in disease spread without the concomitant adoption of major public health interventions.”

Additionally, other coronaviruses that can cause serious human illness, including SARS, have not demonstrated any evidence of seasonality following their emergence, the study states.

Still, the research paper explains that studies have published conflicting results because of several factors, including insufficient time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, to draw any conclusions.

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