Atmospheric pressure and population density as super-factors influencing the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Wei Yan, Muhammad Zohaib Nawaz, Wenqian Xu, Zheng Jiang, Weixiang Sun, Jiayue Lai, Yinghui Shao, Wei Zhang, Rui Zhang

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Received date: 20th October 2020

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), recently emerged and led to a global pandemic with enormous consequent losses to global health and economies. To date, more than 30 million cases have been reported globally and have affected almost every with varying degrees. Meteorological and non-meteorological factors such as temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure, population density, and latitude, are considered critical in virus transmission. To explore the correlation of environmental factors with the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 based on parameters including infection rate, effective reproduction number, and compound growth rate, we analyzed data of confirmed cases from 487 counties in the United States. We found a small impact of temperature and humidity on virus transmission, but observed a considerable positive influence of atmospheric pressure and population density on virus transmission. Geographic areas and seasons (autumn and winter), with exposure to higher atmospheric pressure, are more likely at higher risk of an outbreak. Social distancing and other measures could be effective strategies to combat COVID-19 outbreaks in densely populated areas. Additional studies are needed to explore the mechanisms underlying the relationship between meteorological parameters and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature