The increased infectiousness and speed of spread of new strains is a matter of concern to experts. It is possible that the hope for the sun’s rays and higher temperatures in summer will be in vain, and the pandemic will not slow down, the German news agency DPA notes.
Most viruses have positive seasonal effects – they become less active, reducing the spread of infection. However, experts are seriously concerned about the fact that new mutations may be invulnerable during the high temperature season, and it will not be possible to reduce the R parameter below the threshold value equal to one. Lakes University director and infectious disease specialist Ulf Dietmer explained to reporters from the Athens News Agency:
“Basically, factors such as ultraviolet rays and higher temperatures, as well as more frequent outdoor exposure during the warmer months, help slow the spread of infection. This advantage can now, and it is dangerous, evaporated by mutations. We know about coronaviruses that the R value, that is, the rate of their reproduction, decreases significantly in spring and summer due to these factors, that is, we have a decrease of at least 0.5 of this value, and maybe even more. And that’s quite a lot. However, due to the more easily spreading variant of coronavirus B.1.1.7, the seasonal effects may not be enough to bring the R value below the 1 limit when the pandemic slows down in the long term. ”