Effect of climate factors on COVID-19 pandemic

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen of COVID-19 disease, caused an unprecedented number of infections and deaths worldwide, starting from late December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Different ecological, climate, and/or behavioral factors can affect the interactions and transmission patterns between host and pathogen. Notably, many respiratory infections are influenced mainly by regional climate conditions and geographical locations. Therefore, it is essential to understand the contribution of climate change to COVID-19 mortality.

Temperature is one of the critical climate factors that have a significant impact on disease transmission as well as subsequent fatality. Studies on influenza in northern Europe and Italy investigated that the lower temperature is significantly associated with virus transmission. In the history of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), it was also evident that the virus persisted in the low temperature and increased the risk of daily incidence almost 18 folds. As the SARS-CoV-2 is a similar family of so-called SARS pathogen SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), the temperate might also affect COVID-19 transmission and the death toll due to the disease.