Africa’s Hot Temperature May help Suppress Spread of Coronavirus – Virologist
A Consultant Virologist, Dr Adeola Fowotade, has said that hot tropical climate as obtainable in Nigeria and other sub Saharan African Countries could help suppress the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.
Fowotade of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said this while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
According to her, some experts think the COVID-19 may behave like the influenza virus, which is a seasonal disease common in colder climate, making Nigeria too hot for coronavirus to spread.
“That is an extrapolation from what happened with influenza virus also known as the flu, which is most prevalent in colder climate during winter.
“We believe that if COVID-19 is a Respiratory Tract Infection, probably it will follow the same pattern.
“There is a very high chance there will be some remission as temperature gets warmer in those temperate places.
“But for us with tropical climate, we believe that this outbreak might not go on for too long and might abate very soon.
“This is because the droplets generated by the virus cannot travel far and this virus is an envelope virus.
“Envelop viruses are very susceptible and cannot survive very long in hot climate,” she said.
Fowotade, however, emphasised that everyone including healthcare workers must continue to be vigilant and comply with standard hygiene rules.
“We should still continue to take precautions because we found that this virus has very high transmissibility, that is, when one person is infected that person has a high chance of infecting four more people.
“It is very important that we ensure that we prevent infections by observing best precautionary and preventive measures,” she said.
Also, Dr Kemi Adekanbi, a Consultant Infectious Disease Physician at UCH, said that everyone should practise good hygiene for protection against infections.
According to her, good hygiene practices include regular handwashing with soap and water, cough and sneezing etiquette and maintaining a safe distance from people when they sneeze or cough.
NAN reports that COVID-19 was first identified in humans in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Although it has since spread to over 50 countries and territories, killed more than 3,000 people and infected over 90,000 worldwide, the World Health Organisation is yet to declare the viral disease a global pandemic.
Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the WHO, had on Monday said: “We appreciate that people are debating whether this is a pandemic or not.
“We are monitoring the situation every moment of every day, and analyzing the data.
“I have said it before and I’ll say it again, WHO will not hesitate to describe this as a pandemic if that’s what the evidence suggests.”