The number of cases and deaths caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to increase in France and throughout Europe. With the arrival of spring, could the epidemic slow down like the flu does? Not everything is so simple, but experts are looking into the matter.
In France, the latest assessment reports 3,667 confirmed cases for 79 deaths . Two European countries are nevertheless facing a more serious situation:Italy (17,660 cases / 1,266 deaths) as well as Spain (5,232 / 133). As everyone knows, it is very difficult to predict when the coronavirus epidemic will end. However, there is hope with the arrival of spring . The LCI channel interviewed Etienne Decroly, research director at the CNRS, more specifically at the Architecture and Function of Biological Macromolecules (AFMB) laboratory in Marseille.
The researcher explained that a slowdown in the epidemic with the arrival of spring was a hypothesis . Indeed, this family of viruses is seasonal and therefore sensitive to climatic conditions. A few weeks ago, we cited a study looking at the persistence of the virus. According to the conclusion of the German researchers, the resistance decreases significantly at temperatures above 30°C.
For Etienne Decroly, the dehydration of viral particles occurs in hot, dry weather. In other words, the infectivity of the virus is reduced in the presence of this type of weather condition. Since there are more cases in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere, climate may play a role in the spread of the virus . On the other hand, it remains judicious not to indulge in misinterpretations.
The expert recalls the situation in Africa where the climate mostly hot and dry. However, this continent has not reported many cases. This can be explained by the fact that the detection of the coronavirus is not efficient enough there or that the epidemic is not really spreading there. Moreover, the age pyramid is very different in Africa, so that the most physically fragile people are in the minority.
Etienne Decroly believes that the spread of the coronavirus in a country such as Australia will make it possible to learn more about the seasonal effect of the epidemic. Indeed, the current Australian climate is approaching the one we will experience in a few months. It is therefore necessary to be patient before obtaining precise and measurable indications.