TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Like influenza, may COVID-19 evolve to wax and wane with the seasons? New analysis suggests it’d.

Early within the pandemic, some consultants prompt that SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — could behave like many different coronaviruses that flow into extra broadly in fall and winter.

To seek out out if that may very well be true, researchers analyzed COVID-19 knowledge — together with instances, demise charges, recoveries, testing charges and hospitalizations — from 221 nations. The investigators discovered a robust affiliation with temperature and latitude.

“One conclusion is that the illness could also be seasonal, just like the flu. That is very related to what we should always count on any longer after the vaccine controls these first waves of COVID-19,” stated senior research creator Gustavo Caetano-Anollés. He’s a professor on the C.R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology on the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The identical analysis group beforehand recognized areas within the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome present process fast mutation.

Comparable viruses have seasonal will increase in mutation charges, so the researchers appeared for connections between mutations in SARS-CoV-2 and temperature, latitude and longitude.

“Our outcomes recommend the virus is altering at its personal tempo, and mutations are affected by elements apart from temperature or latitude. We do not know precisely what these elements are, however we are able to now say seasonal results are impartial of the genetic make-up of the virus,” Caetano-Anollés stated in a college information launch.

Additional analysis is required to be taught extra about how local weather and totally different seasons could have an effect on COVID-19 charges, the group added.

The research authors prompt that individuals’s immune programs could play a task. The immune system will be influenced by temperature and diet, together with vitamin D, which performs an essential position in immunity. With much less solar publicity through the winter, most individuals do not make sufficient vitamin D.

“We all know the flu is seasonal, and that we get a break through the summer season. That provides us an opportunity to construct the flu vaccine for the next fall,” Caetano-Anollés stated. “After we are nonetheless within the midst of a raging pandemic, that break is nonexistent. Maybe studying how you can increase our immune system may assist fight the illness as we wrestle to meet up with the ever-changing coronavirus.”

The research was printed on-line Jan. 26 within the journal Evolutionary Bioinformatics.


Extra data

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has extra on COVID-19.


SOURCE: College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, information launch, Jan. 27, 2021

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