•   
  •   
  •   

Canada Winter in a pandemic: How cold air could make the coronavirus spread more easily

14:45  25 september  2020
14:45  25 september  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

Trudeau cabinet meets to discuss rebuilding amid rising number of COVID-19 cases

  Trudeau cabinet meets to discuss rebuilding amid rising number of COVID-19 cases OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Canadians against relaxing their guard against COVID-19 as he and his cabinet kicked off two days of closed-door meetings to discuss the pandemic and how to lead the country through a second wave. The past several weeks have seen a resurgence in COVID-19 across Canada after a summer lull, which Trudeau said is a reminder that Canada is "not out of the woods yet." "We need to continue to remainThe past several weeks have seen a resurgence in COVID-19 across Canada after a summer lull, which Trudeau said is a reminder that Canada is "not out of the woods yet.

a person taking a selfie in the snow: MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 15, 2020: A man seen in a street during a snowfall. Since 30 March 2020, Moscow has been on lockdown. Earlier, the Russian government announced a paid period off work for employed people and school holidays, which are expected to last till the end of April. As of 15 April 2020, Russia has reported more 24,500 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection, with more than 14,800 confirmed cases in Moscow. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS (Photo by Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images) MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 15, 2020: A man seen in a street during a snowfall. Since 30 March 2020, Moscow has been on lockdown. Earlier, the Russian government announced a paid period off work for employed people and school holidays, which are expected to last till the end of April. As of 15 April 2020, Russia has reported more 24,500 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection, with more than 14,800 confirmed cases in Moscow. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS (Photo by Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images)

The summer months are officially behind us, and the dip in temperature has been met with a spike in coronavirus cases across Canada.

2020 Emmys: Celebrity Pajamas

  2020 Emmys: Celebrity Pajamas After sweeping the Comedy Series categories at the Emmys, the Canadian cast and crew, including Dan Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, and Annie Murphy, react to their seven wins. Dan Levy discusses how the series brings laughs but also conversation, and weighs in on whether the possibility of a cinematic version of "Schitt's Creek". Plus, O'Hara considers what Moira Rose would wear to accept her Emmy.

Some parts of Canada are already experiencing a second wave, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday. But will the coronavirus grow even more rampant during the winter months, just as other respiratory illnesses do?

Read more: Canada ‘on the brink’ of coronavirus surge, second wave underway in some regions, Trudeau says

"As the weather cools down, this means the coronavirus may actually stay in the air longer," said Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto.

As the virus leaves your body, the cold air helps preserve it and keep it alive longer, Furness explained.

"That's one of the reasons we have the flu season in the colder months."

Respiratory infections, such as coronaviruses, are spread by droplets that are released when a person coughs or sneezes, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Erin O’Toole’s wife tests positive for coronavirus following earlier negative result

  Erin O’Toole’s wife tests positive for coronavirus following earlier negative result Rebecca O'Toole developed a fever on Sunday, a statement from the Conservative Party says.In a statement issued Tuesday, the Conservative Party said Rebecca O'Toole developed a fever on Sunday and went to a local Ottawa testing centre before receiving a positive test result on Monday.

Timothy Sly, an epidemiologist with Ryerson University's school of public health, explained that we don't exhale the virus particles. The virus is inside droplets of various sizes.

When the air is dry, which is typical during the winter months, the moisture in the droplets evaporates, "possibly within seconds," leaving the nucleus of the droplet — containing the virus — to float in the air, he said.

This means the droplets are smaller and lighter than they would be with humid weather, meaning they could spread farther.

Another reason the spread of the coronavirus could be worse in cold temperature is that our mucous membrane dries out in cold weather, making it much harder for the nose to filter pathogens, Furness said. When airways dry out, it allows the virus to have easier access to the body.

"All of these contribute to ideal conditions for respiratory viruses in the winter," Furness said.

Coronavirus numbers are surging in Canada. But who’s getting sick and why?

  Coronavirus numbers are surging in Canada. But who’s getting sick and why? The latest available data from the Public Health Agency of Canada showed 56.6 per cent of those who tested positive for the virus were younger than 50 years old. People aged 20-29 accounted for "the largest proportion of cases," the agency said in its weekly epidemiology report. "Incidence rates in those 20 to 39 years of age remain consistently higher compared to all other age groups.

graphical user interface © Provided by Global News

But this does not mean it will happen with COVID-19 specifically, Sly warned.

Because the Northern Hemisphere hasn't been through a full winter with the coronavirus pandemic yet, it is really "speculation" at the moment, he said.

But he added it's still important that people practise safe distancing and wearing masks, even when outside during the winter months.

"It's still the best way to prevent infection," Sly said.

Read more: This is what can happen to your lungs when you have coronavirus

Of course, there are other reasons for viruses to spread during the winter months.

“Winter is coming,” Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency officer at WHO Europe, said last month, according to CNBC.

“People are travelling more, they are going back to work, schools are reopening — these are all factors that are going to increase the risk of community transmission and further transmission.

“As we approach the flu season and the winter months, there are additional factors that will conflate and add even more to that level of risk,” she said, saying more people are likely to congregate indoors and in more crowded settings.

Canada reports 1,739 new coronavirus cases as global deaths near 1 million

  Canada reports 1,739 new coronavirus cases as global deaths near 1 million Provincial health authorities also confirmed another 10 people had died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the country's total death toll to 9,278.Provincial health authorities also confirmed another 10 people had died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the country's total death toll to 9,278.

Studies look into COVID-19 and cold temperature

It's still not completely known if COVID-19 can spread more easily in cold air, but studies have started looking into it.

A study published in August in the journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases found that the number of COVID-19 cases in Sydney, Australia, increased as the air became drier and the humidity level dropped.

"There is growing evidence that climatic factors could influence the evolution of the current COVID‐19 pandemic," the authors stated. "Overall, a decrease in relative humidity of one per cent was associated with an increase in cases of seven to eight per cent."

Temperature and relative humidity can affect coronavirus transmission as the virus can survive longer at lower temperatures, the authors said. The virus can also stay "suspended in the air" longer at lower humidity, they claimed.

Another study published in August in the Science Direct journal examined the link between daily average temperature and relative humidity and daily counts of COVID-19 cases in 30 Chinese provinces.

It found that every one-degree increase in the average temperature led to a decrease in the daily confirmed coronavirus cases by 36 per cent to 57 per cent when the humidity level was in the range of 67 per cent to 85.5 per cent.

"Environmental factors such as temperature and relative humidity may influence the transmissions of coronavirus by affecting the survival of the virus in its transmission routes," the authors stated.

However, the authors noted there were limitations to the study — the study period was only around a month-long and the rate of COVID-19 cases decreasing could have also been influenced by government health interventions.

Coronavirus, the flu or the common cold? Here’s what to know .
It's important to be able to tell the difference between the symptoms of a common cold, influenza and COVID-19. But it's also tricky.Cold and flu season is officially underway in Canada, and with the on-going global pandemic, a sore throat or runny nose may have people wondering if they have COVID-19.

usr: 0
This is interesting!