Nigeria’s Weather May be Too Hot for coronavirus to Spread – Virologist
Dr Adeola Fowotade, a consultant virologist at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan has said that the hot tropical climate of Nigeria and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa could help suppress the spread of coronavirus. She disclosed this while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
According to her, some experts think the COVID-19 may behave like the influenza virus, which is a seasonal disease common in colder climate, making Nigeria too hot for coronavirus to spread. “That is an extrapolation from what happened with influenza virus also known as the flu, which is most prevalent in colder climate during winter.
“We believe that if COVID-19 is a Respiratory Tract Infection, probably it will follow the same pattern.
“There is a very high chance there will be some remission as temperature gets warmer in those temperate places. “But for us with tropical climate, we believe that this outbreak might not go on for too long and might abate very soon. “This is because the droplets generated by the virus cannot travel far and this virus is an envelope virus. “Enveloped viruses are very susceptible and cannot survive very long in hot climate,” she said. Fowotade, however, emphasised that everyone including healthcare workers must continue to be vigilant and comply with standard hygiene rules. “We should still continue to take precautions because we found that this virus has a very high transmissibility, that is, when one person is infected that person has a high chance of infecting four more people. “It is very important that we ensure that we prevent infections by observing best precautionary and preventive measures,” she said.
Speaking further, Dr Fowotade said that everyone should practise good hygiene for protection against infections. In her words: “good hygiene practices include regular hand washing with soap and water, cough and sneezing etiquette and maintaining a safe distance from people when they sneeze or cough.”
Recall that, the Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, Nigeria. The case, which was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.
The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020. He was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.