Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Predicting SARS-CoV-2 Weather-Induced Seasonal Virulence from Atmospheric Air Enthalpy

Version 1 : Received: 1 October 2020 / Approved: 5 October 2020 / Online: 5 October 2020 (08:10:08 CEST)

How to cite: Spena, A.; Palombi, L.; Corcione, M.; Quintino, A.; Carestia, M.; Spena, V.A. Predicting SARS-CoV-2 Weather-Induced Seasonal Virulence from Atmospheric Air Enthalpy. Preprints 2020, 2020100052 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0052.v1). Spena, A.; Palombi, L.; Corcione, M.; Quintino, A.; Carestia, M.; Spena, V.A. Predicting SARS-CoV-2 Weather-Induced Seasonal Virulence from Atmospheric Air Enthalpy. Preprints 2020, 2020100052 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0052.v1).

Abstract

Following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, several studies have examined the possibility of correlating the virulence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, to the climatic conditions of the involved sites; however, inconclusive results have been generally obtained. Although either air temperature or humidity cannot be independently correlated with virus viability, a strong relationship between SARS-CoV-2 virulence and the specific enthalpy of moist air appears to exist, as confirmed by extensive data analysis. Given this framework, the present study involves a detailed investigation based on the first 20–30 days of the epidemic before public health interventions in 30 selected Italian provinces with rather different climates, here assumed as being representative of what happened in the country from North to South, of the relationship between COVID-19 distributions and the climatic conditions recorded at each site before the pandemic outbreak. Accordingly, a correlating equation between the incidence rate of the pandemic and the average specific enthalpy of atmospheric air was developed, and an enthalpy-based seasonal virulence risk scale was proposed as a tool to predict the potential danger of COVID-19 spread due to the persistence of weather conditions favorable to SARS-CoV-2 viability. For practical applications, a conclusive risk chart expressed in terms of coupled temperatures and relative humidity (RH) values was provided, showing that safer conditions occur in case of higher RH at the highest temperatures, and of lower RH at the lowest temperatures. The proposed risk scale was in agreement with the available infectivity data in the literature for a number of cities around the world.

Subject Areas

weather-related SARS-CoV-2 virulence; specific enthalpy of atmospheric moist air; temperature and humidity effects on COVID-19 outbreak; correlating equation; COVID-19 spread prediction risk scale

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