Susceptible supply limits the role of climate in the early SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

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Science  18 May 2020:
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc2535


Preliminary evidence suggests that climate may modulate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Yet it remains unclear whether seasonal and geographic variations in climate can substantially alter the pandemic trajectory, given high susceptibility is a core driver. Here, we use a climate-dependent epidemic model to simulate the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic probing different scenarios based on known coronavirus biology. We find that while variations in weather may be important for endemic infections, during the pandemic stage of an emerging pathogen the climate drives only modest changes to pandemic size. A preliminary analysis of non-pharmaceutical control measures indicates that they may moderate the pandemic-climate interaction via susceptible depletion. Our findings suggest, without effective control measures, strong outbreaks are likely in more humid climates and summer weather will not substantially limit pandemic growth.

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