While Australia has done a remarkable job to flatten the coronavirus curve, we’re being warned that the real danger period is just weeks away.
Researchers in Hong Kong have tested COVID-19’s reaction to different temperatures.
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They’ve found it spreads much quicker, lives longer and is more virulent in colder temperatures.
That partly explains why the northern hemisphere has been hit so hard and why we were fortunate the pandemic started during our summer.
As COVID-19 continues to baffle the scientific community, an Australian is trying to find answers.
John Nicholls is a Professor of Pathology at Hong Kong University, a country that has experienced just over 1,000 cases and four deaths.
Coronavirus has hit the New York area hard, and the US is on track to surpass Italy’s death toll.Credit: AP
“The research that we did show indicated that this virus is very stable at a low temperature such as 4oC and is inactivated when we get to around 40oC,” Nicholls told Weekend Sunrise.
“So for the southern states of Australia, as you come to the winter months, if you haven’t been able to yet rid of the virus in the environment, it could survive for a longer period rather than in places like the northern hemisphere or northern Australia.”
Australia’s winter officially starting on June 1 and many lockdown measures are expected to begin being lifted around the end of May.
But Nicholls believes the way Australia has flattened the curve is a positive.
“Seeing how both Hong Kong and Australia have been able to flatten ‘sombrero’ so that it’s more like a pancake or a pikelet, the challenge will be for the southern states.”
Nicholls says that if restrictions are eased, there will need to be a bigger emphasis on hygiene.
“There’ll be far more attention which needs to be given to things like cleaning of the handrails or bannisters, lift buttons…just keeping the environmental contamination very low.”
Nicholls also believes social distancing and temperature checks will continue for between six months and two years, striking a balance between keeping the number of infections down and keeping the economy running.
Source: Coronavirus: Australia could yet see the worst of COVID-19 as winter approaches
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