Will COVID-19 pandemic be over with warm weather? How to treat COVID-19?
You may have heard the information that coronavirus or COVID-19 is sensitive to warm weather which means that the pandemic slowing down is expected to occur with the first warm days. However, epidemiologists are not so optimistic about it.
Indeed, common cold and flu are in most cases seasonal. The peak of infected people is observed in cold months and the number starts declining with the first warm spring days. The epidemiologists explain it by two factors:
- In cold and dry light-weight air, droplets released when coughing and sneezing which contain viruses are floating around for more time than in warm and humid weather. This makes them active for more time and more likely to infect more people.
- In cold weather, people spend most of their time indoors. All festivals, parties, concerts, and so on are held indoors. This creates favorable condition for viruses spreading as there is minimal amount of circulating fresh air diluting the potentially infected air.
Are these factors influencing the spread of COVID-19?
While it is not confirmed or disproven that COVID-19 is likely to spread in cold and dry air as it had been discovered very little time back and isn’t sufficiently studied, we can assume that it is likely to follow the same pattern. But the problem is the rate of the new coronavirus spread and the speed of developing complications. So our conclusion is we should not lose vigilance even if the weather becomes warm as it is not a guarantee that the virus contagiousness will become less high.
As for the indoor gatherings promoting the spread of the disease, this factor is very much relevant for COVID-19. Hence the social isolation measure is considered the most effective and crucial to stop the pandemic.
For how long should we observe quarantine?
There is no certainty about a date because it is not proven that warm weather can solve the problem of quick raise in COVID-19 statistics. The indicator that plays the most important role in the ending of quarantine is the speed of the disease raise. Look at the graph below, now the curve showing the progression of COVID-19 is pointed upwards which means that the speed of the pathogen spread is very high. We can talk about the easing of security measures only when it flattens. Why is it important? Because when a huge part of the population gets sick, the number of severe cases requiring intensive care unit treatment also raises exponentially. And that as seen in the example of Italy means an acute insufficiency of resources and multiple deaths. And it is relevant to any country.
Once the COVID-19 statistics get better, i.e. the spread curve flattens, all of us will have better chances of receiving the needed medical care as hospitals and ICUs won’t be overwhelmed. And this is when we can act – to slow down the virus spread, follow the rule of not going out unless you need medicines or food, do not gather, and follow the basic hygiene rules.
COVID-19 symptoms: when you should be especially careful
As we say it is, in general, recommended not to go outside and meet other people, but some people cannot stay at home as they work in the strategic fields such as law enforcement, foodstuffs supply, healthcare, utility maintenance, and so on. For all people who cannot stay at home, it is crucial to pay attention to COVID-19 symptoms. They are quite alike to those of flu but there are some differences:
Note: you may think that you have flu or common cold and be unable to do the COVID-19 test. Still, even if your symptoms are mild and you are unsure about your diagnosis, stay at home as it is better to play safe than develop fatal complications and/or infect vulnerable people who can develop it.
COVID-19 map: find how bad it is in your region
Here you can find COVID-19 statistics by regions but please keep in mind that in many places there are no sufficient tests. Besides, not all people who have the symptoms are tested so in reality, the situation can be much worse.
COVID-19 statistics on mortality risk by age and concomitant diseases
You have probably heard that the worst cases of the disease mostly occur in senior people. Here you can find COVID-19 update on the percents of infected people’s deaths by age groups:
The incidence of fatal outcome increases in the presence of certain chronic conditions:
COVID-19 treatment options
The general COVID-19 statistics say that only around 15% of infected people need intensive care therapy due to lung complications. The remaining 85% of infected people require symptomatic treatment such as:
- Use of antipyretic medicines (paracetamol, Tylenol, etc.)
- Stay in bed;
- Drink plenty of water.
These are measures that can help a generally healthy organism to defeat the virus. However, the scientists of all countries are now working on the drugs aimed to lower the content of the virus in the body and help immunity fight it more effectively and do not develop complications. Although there are no new developments and to be honest, if they occur, the time they will appear on the market won’t come soon as they would need to be tested for many months or even years, there are certain medications that show promising COVID-19 treatment results:
- Lopinavir + Ritonavir. This medication is based on two antiviral medications effective in HIV treatment. It had been used by Chinese doctors in Wuhan and is believed to be very effective for fighting the virus quicker and prevent serious complications.
- Chloroquine. This is the medication used mainly to treat malaria and sometimes autoimmune diseases. However, based on the latest research, it is also effective for the elimination of COVID-19. The medication’s effect on this new pathogen had been tested on the patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms and has shown such positive results that it had been shortly approved by the FDA for the treatment of the new virus.