26 May 2020 – Policy Brief

The importance of seasonality and climate on the risk of COVID-19: rapid review

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Executive summary

We conducted a rapid reviewof the literature to address the following two questions: (1) What is the role of the climate in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2? (2) To what extent could seasons in Switzerland affect the spread of the virus? We searched the living evidence database for COVID-19 of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern for relevant studies. We screened 92 publications and included 7 modelling studies, 7 analyses of epidemiological data, 1 systematic review and 1 narrative review. There was broad agreement among studies that season and climatic factors play a role in the transmission of SARS-Cov-2 and the propagation of the COVID-19 epidemic. However, the mitigating effect of higher temperatures / the summer season will be modest and insufficient to control the epidemic.

Date of request: 5/2020
Date of response: 26/5/2020

In response to request from: Krisenstab, FOPH

Comment on planned updates: As soon as a significant amount of new evidence becomes available.

Expert groups and individuals involved: (Carole Dupont, Stefanie Hossmann, Matthias Egger), PH group (Antoine Flahault, Marcel Tanner), Infection Prevetion and Control (Sarah Tschudin-Sutter)

Contact persons: Matthias Egger

As the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force has been disbanded as of 31 March 2022, no further epidemiological assessments, scientific updates or policy briefs will be published in the future. All previous publications, pages and information of the Science Task Force remain available on this website.