Should we hope that the heat and the sun will wipe out the virus that is undermining us? “It would be risky,” says Jean Ruelle, an expert at UCLouvain.
Should we hope that with the return of the heyday, the Covid-19 desert our countries? Some, like President Donald Trump, have said that the sun and the heat could get rid of the virus. This is very exaggerated.
Un: if it is there, spring will take its time. The maximum temperature in Brussels should not exceed 10ºC at least until the end of the month.
Two: hot countries are currently affected by the coronavirus. This is the case of Senegal, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Thailand, Burkina Faso …
Three: it is not certain that the virus will weaken until it disappears with the onset of heat. Science is very careful. Classic flu is certainly a seasonal disease that rages in cold weather and leaves us in March-April. But Sars-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2), commonly known as coronavirus, is a virus of another kind that may behave differently. In addition, the affected populations do not benefit from any immunity against this virus.
Experts note that he shares 90% of his DNA with Sars-CoV-1, which appeared in China in November 2002 and did not die until July 2003 after killing a thousand people. However, scientists say, it is not the higher temperature that has overcome it, it is the sanitary measures taken to combat it.
Exit the hope of seeing it weaken with the rise in temperature? “You can’t count on it,” said Jean Ruelle, a researcher at the UCLouvain Institute for Experimental and Clinical Research. Admittedly, “it has been shown in the laboratory that the infectious capacity of CoV-1 was 2 hours at 37ºC, then decreased with increasing temperature”. Also shown that irradiation with UV rays for one hour eliminates infectious capacity. Certainly, the warmer it is, the more the virus resists badly. But difficult to say how it will behave in the environment. In addition, contamination occurs mainly through direct human contact (a cough, physical contact, etc.). The presence of the virus floating in the air is rarely the cause. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is clear: “It is unclear whether transmission in Europe will naturally decrease during the summer as seen for seasonal flu. ”
“It seems to me risky today to claim that the change of season will reverse the epidemic,” concludes Jean Ruelle. The best strategy is to fight the disease head on.
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