Global seasonality of human seasonal coronaviruses: a clue for post-pandemic circulating season of SARS-CoV-2 virus?

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Abstract

Background
The ongoing pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus could recur as seasonal outbreaks, a circulating pattern observed among other pre-existing human seasonal coronaviruses (sCoV). However, little is known about seasonality of sCoV on a global scale.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review of data on seasonality of sCoV. We compared seasonality of sCoV with influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus. We modelled monthly activity of sCoV using site-specific weather data.
Results
We included sCoV seasonality data in 40 sites from 21 countries. SCoV was prevalent in winter months in most temperate sites except for China while sCoV tended to be less seasonal in China and in tropical sites. In temperate sites excluding China, 53.1% of annual sCoV cases (Interquartile range, IQR: 34.6–61.9) occurred during influenza season and 49.6% (IQR: 30.2–60.2) of sCoV occurred during respiratory syncytial virus season. Low temperature combined with high relative humidity was associated with higher sCoV activity.
Conclusions
This is the first study that provides an overview of the global seasonality of sCoV. Our findings offer clues to the possible post-pandemic circulating season of SARS-CoV-2 and add to the knowledge pool necessary for post-pandemic preparedness for SARS-CoV-2.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Early online date21 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2020

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