President Donald Trump has expressed optimism that the new coronavirus may disappear when spring brings warmer weather, similar to a pattern seen with the seasonal flu.
While warmer and wetter weather might not kill the virus — experts certainly don't think we can bank on warm weather for a full retreat of the coronavirus — new preliminary research suggests such conditions could hamper the ability of the virus to infect people. This could slightly decrease the coronavirus' spread in Northern Hemisphere countries like the US and Italy come summertime.
The new study, which is not yet peer-reviewed and published by researchers in Beijing, China, suggests that for each degree in temperature increase and each percent humidity increase, the contagiousness of the disease caused by the coronavirus, named COVID-19, goes down.
"It indicates that the arrival of summer and rainy season in the Northern Hemisphere can effectively reduce the transmission of the COVID-19," the authors wrote.
In order to best contain an infectious disease like the new coronavirus, experts need to know how contagious it is. That comes from one crucial metric: the R0 (pronounced R-naught).