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Effects of climatic factors on COVID-19 transmission in Ethiopia

Endeshaw et al., Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-022-24024-9
Nov 2022  
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Analysis of climate and COVID-19 transmission in Ethiopia, showing no association between sunshine duration and COVID-19 risk during the study period. Authors analyze cases only and not outcomes.
Endeshaw et al., 16 Nov 2022, Ethiopia, peer-reviewed, 7 authors, study period 10 May, 2020 - 31 October, 2021.
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Effects of climatic factors on COVID-19 transmission in Ethiopia
Fitsum Bekele Endeshaw, Fentabil Getnet, Awoke Misganaw Temesgen, Alemnesh H Mirkuzie, Latera Tesfaye Olana, Kefyalew Addis Alene, Solomon Kibret Birhanie
Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-022-24024-9
Climatic conditions play a key role in the transmission and pathophysiology of respiratory tract infections, either directly or indirectly. However, their impact on the COVID-19 pandemic propagation is yet to be studied. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of climatic factors such as temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, sunshine duration, and wind speed on the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Data on confirmed COVID-19 cases were obtained from the National Data Management Center at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute for the period 10th March 2020 to 31st October 2021. Data for climatic factors were obtained from the Ethiopia National Meteorology Agency. The correlation between daily confirmed COVID-19 cases and climatic factors was measured using the Spearman rank correlation test. The log-link negative binomial regression model was used to fit the effect of climatic factors on COVID-19 transmission, from lag 0 to lag 14 days. During the study period, a total of 245,101 COVID-19 cases were recorded in Addis Ababa, with a median of 337 new cases per day and a maximum of 1903 instances per day. A significant correlation between COVID-19 cases and humidity was observed with a 1% increase in relative humidity associated with a 1.1% [IRRs (95%CI) 0.989, 95% (0.97-0.99)] and 1.2% [IRRs (95%CI) 0.988, (0.97-0.99)] decrease in COVID-19 cases for 4 and 5 lag days prior to detection, respectively. The highest increase in the effect of wind speed and rainfall on COVID-19 was observed at 14 lag days prior to detection with IRRs of 1.85 (95%CI 1.26-2.74) and 1.078 (95%CI 1.04-1.12), respectively. The lowest IRR was 1.109 (95%CI 0.93-1.31) and 1.007 (95%CI 0.99-1.02) both in lag 0, respectively. The findings revealed that none of the climatic variables influenced the number of COVID-19 cases on the day of case detection (lag 0), and that daily average temperature and sunshine duration were not significantly linked with COVID-19 risk across the full lag period (p > 0.05). Climatic factors such as humidity, rainfall, and wind speed influence the transmission of COVID-19 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. COVID-19 cases have shown seasonal variations with the highest number of cases reported during the rainy season and the lowest number of cases reported during the dry season. These findings suggest the need to design strategies for the prevention and control of COVID-19 before the rainy seasons. Since Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was officially declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020 as a global pandemic, the number of deaths and daily confirmed new cases have increased in every corner of the world. The pandemic is a serious global public health crisis affecting the physical, mental, social, and economic well-being of human beings [1] [2] [3] . Following the first reported cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China in late December 2019, the virus has quickly spread across the world 4 . As of 11 March 2022,.. Seasonal and daily variation of climate factors against daily confirmed new cases. As can be seen from Fig. 2 , on average, the highest and lowest rainfall record in Addis Ababa were from June to September and October to November, respectively. However, the maximum (May) and minimum (December) temperatures recorded in Addis Ababa were during the second small rainy season (February to May) and October to January period (Fig. 3 ). As Fig. 4a illustrates, Addis Ababa experienced 3 COVID-19 peak periods since community-level transmission occurred. The two highest numbers of COVID-19 cases per day were registered in the second rainy season (March to May) and the main rainy season (June to September) with a magnitude of 1775 and 1903 cases, respectively. The number of COVID-19 cases declined following the main rainy season, from October to January. The decline in COVID-19 cases between October and January links to the lowest amount of rainfall, while the increased number of COVID-19 cases between March-May and June-September links to increased seasonal rainfall (Fig. 4b ). The average temperature shows a decreasing trend during the peak outbreak period (Fig. 4a ). Taking into account the lag effects of climatic factors, wind and relative humidity increased prior to the day of detection of COVID-19 cases (Fig. 4c,d ). The increased number of COVID-19 cases between March and September of the study period corresponded with decreased sunshine..
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