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COVID-19 transmission in Mainland China is associated with temperature and humidity: a time-series analysis

By Hongchao Qi, Shuang Xiao, Runye Shi, Michael P Ward, Yue Chen, Wei Tu, Qing Su, Wenge Wang, Xinyi Wang, Zhijie Zhang

Posted 30 Mar 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.30.20044099

COVID-19 has become a pandemic. The influence of meteorological factors on the transmission and spread of COVID-19 if of interest. This study sought to examine the associations of daily average temperature (AT) and relative humidity (ARH) with the daily count of COVID-19 cases in 30 Chinese provinces (in Hubei from December 1, 2019 to February 11, 2020 and in other provinces from January 20, 2020 to Februarys 11, 2020). A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was fitted to quantify the province-specific associations between meteorological variables and the daily cases of COVID-19 during the study periods. In the model, the 14-day exponential moving averages (EMAs) of AT and ARH, and their interaction were included with time trend and health-seeking behavior adjusted. Their spatial distributions were visualized. AT and ARH showed significantly negative associations with COVID-19 with a significant interaction between them (0.04, 95% confidence interval: 0.004-0.07) in Hubei. Every 1{degrees}C increase in the AT led to a decrease in the daily confirmed cases by 36% to 57% when ARH was in the range from 67% to 85.5%. Every 1% increase in ARH led to a decrease in the daily confirmed cases by 11% to 22% when AT was in the range from 5.04{degrees}C to 8.2{degrees}C. However, these associations were not consistent throughout Mainland China.

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