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Misconceptions about weather and seasonality impact COVID-19 response — ScienceDaily

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Misconceptions about the way climate and weather impact exposure and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, create false confidence and have adversely shaped risk perceptions, say a team of Georgetown University researchers.

“Future scientific work on this politically-fraught topic needs a more careful approach,” write the scientists in a “Comment” published today in Nature Communications.

The authors include global change biologist Colin J. Carlson, PhD, an assistant professor at Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security; senior author Sadie Ryan, PhD, a medical geographer at the University of Florida; Georgetown disease ecologist Shweta Bansal, PhD; and Ana C. R. Gomez, a graduate student at UCLA.

The research team says current messaging on social media and elsewhere “obscures key nuances” of the science around COVID-19 and seasonality.

“Weather probably influences COVID-19 transmission, but not at a scale sufficient to outweigh the effects of lockdowns or re-openings in populations,” the authors write.

The authors strongly discourage policy be tailored to current understandings of the COVID-climate link, and suggest a few key points:

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Materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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