Many schools in the UAE have launched campaigns to raise children’s awareness about surviving the summer heat. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Will the incidence of COVID-19 dwindle with the approaching summers? There have been conjectures that the virus thrives in places with low temperature, but is not likely to survive in extreme heat

Dr Arshad Altaf, specialist pulmonologist at Prime Hospital, says the COVID-19 virus, like all other strains of the coronavirus family, is not likely do well in hot weather.

“While very little is known about this strain, going by the other viruses of the family that cause influenza, SARS and MERS, the incidence dies down during summers. These viruses do not do well in tropical heat. We have seen that the peak of the influenza season is during the winters. We are hoping that the COVID-19 strain will also follow the same pattern and the incidence of infection will come down as the virus will not last on external surfaces.”

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Dr Arshad Altaf, specialist pulmonologist at Prime Hospital Image Credit: Supplied

But Dr Altaf cautioned against being lax. “We must remember that the infection will still spread through droplets of moisture when an infected person sneezes or coughs. So while incidence will come down, it is not likely to completely end. People will need to practise good hand hygiene and take precautions such as using hand sanitisers and wearing face masks in public places.”

Going by the behaviour of other strains of virus from the coronavirus, it can be safely concluded that the viruses do not do well in ambient temperatures and that might help control the widespread infection rate. “It is too early to predict how COVID 19 will do in summers. But this family of viruses that also cause influenza and other milder strain of coronavirus that cause common cold, tend to subside in the warmer months as they have their seasonality. The other strains do not do well in a temperature between 25-30 degree Celsius and going by that experience it is being concluded that the incidence of COVID-19 too will fall in the peak of summers,” said Dr Altaf.

The World Health Organisation, said, “There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill new coronavirus or other diseases. The most effective way to protect yourself is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

“Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower. Taking a hot bath with extremely hot water can be harmful, as it can burn you. The best way to protect yourself against Covid-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this, you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.”