Is Wind Speed Linked to Increased COVID-19 Transmission?

Is Wind Speed Linked to Increased COVID-19 Transmission

As per a recent study, specific weather conditions may pose a lower risk of coronavirus transmission than others. To examine, the research team analyzed 96,057 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. They combined the data with daily weather reports and suggested that slower outdoor wind speed is linked to increased risk of transmission when people socialize outside.

Higher outdoor wind speeds on warmer days may reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission by 45% in social gatherings. It seems that wind speeds of less than 5.5mph are linked to greater transmission than faster speeds. Scientists suggest higher wind speeds reduce infection risk and disperse viral particles because SARS-CoV-2 is airborne.

When the outdoor temperatures are cooler, people have more indoor social gatherings, indirectly increasing infection rates. By now, transmission rates are highest indoors. That means the air quality and airflow reduce the risk of infection. Low wind speeds under 5mph may lessen the protective impact of warmer temperatures, but this doesn’t confirm that higher wind speeds protect from infection in outdoor social gatherings.

Wind speed and temperature aren’t the only factors that play a role in protection against the coronavirus. The most important is personal responsibility, such as vaccinations and mask-wearing. When people gather indoors, they tend to relax and not wear masks, which can be a big problem. Many have sought professional help during the pandemic due to the lockdown since they want to socialize, contributing to coronavirus transmission.

According to one of the researchers, Jaymie R. Meliker, Ph.D., the transmission of COVID-19 is higher outdoors when wind speed is low and people gather outside. Nevertheless, he believes one can’t find a link between low wind speed and COVID-19 incidence when temperatures get too cold or too hot because people spend less time outdoors.

The study’s data are consistent with current guidelines for reducing coronavirus transmission. To lessen the transmission of COVID-19, a versatile approach needs to be adopted, including frequent change of air, vaccinations, and mask-wearing.

Photo by Katarzyna Kos on Unsplash

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