Interaction between meteorological parameters and COVID-19: An ecological study on 406 authorities of the UK

Mohammad Sarmadi*, Sajjad Rahimi, Darrick Evensen*, Vahid Kazemi Moghaddam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the factors affecting COVID-19 transmission is critical in assessing and mitigating the spread of the pandemic. This study investigated the transmissibility and death distribution of COVID-19 and its association with meteorological parameters to study the propagation pattern of COVID-19 in UK regions. We used the reported case and death per capita rate (as of November 13, 2020; before mass vaccination) and long-term meteorological data (temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed, and visibility) in 406 UK local authority levels based on publicity available secondary data. We performed correlation and regression analysis between COVID-19 variables and meteorological parameters to find the association between COVID-19 and independent variables. Student’s T and Mann–Whitney’s tests were used to analyze data. The correlation and regression analyses revealed that temperature, dew point, wind speed, and humidity were the most important factors associated with spread and death of COVID-19 (P <0.05). COVID-19 cases negatively correlated with humidity in areas with high population density, but the inverse in low population density areas. Wind speeds in low visibility areas, which are considered polluted air, may increase the spread of disease (r=0.42, P <0.05) and decrease the spread in high visibility areas (r=−0.16, P <0.05). Among low (T <10°C) and high (T >10°C) temperature areas, the average incidence rates were 2056.86 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1909.49–2204.23) and 1446.76 (95% CI: 1296.71–1596.81). Also, COVID-19 death per capita rates were 81.55 (95% CI: 77.40–85.70) and 69.78 (95% CI: 64.39–75.16) respectively. According to the comprehensive analysis, the spread of disease will be suppressed as the weather warms and humidity and wind speed decrease. Different environmental conditions can increase or decrease spread of the disease due to affecting spread of disease vectors and by altering people’s behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental science and pollution research
Early online date9 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • environmental factors
  • humidity
  • meteorological parameters
  • temperature
  • wind speed

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