Environmental risk factors of airborne viral transmission: Humidity, Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands [article]

Edsard Ravelli, Rolando Gonzales Martinez
2020 medRxiv   pre-print
Objective: The relationship between specific humidity and influenza/SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands is evaluated over time and at regional level. Design: Parametric and non-parametric correlation coefficients are calculated to quantify the relationship between humidity and influenza, using five years of weekly data. Bayesian spatio-temporal models-with a Poisson and a Gaussian likelihood-are estimated to find the relationship between regional humidity and the daily cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the
more » ... ipalities and provinces of the Netherlands. Results: An inverse (negative) relationship is observed between specific humidity and the incidence of influenza between 2015 and 2019. The space-time analysis indicates that an increase of specific humidity of one gram of water vapor per kilogram of air (1 g/kg) is related to a reduction of approximately 5% in the risk of COVID-19 infections. Conclusion: The increase in humidity during the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands helped to reduce the risk of regional COVID-19 infections. Public policies that promote higher levels of specific humidification-above 6 g/Kg-can lead to significant reductions in the spread of respiratory viruses, such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2.
doi:10.1101/2020.08.18.20177444 fatcat:yzgez5ec2jembi3i62ohieywau