FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims Coronavirus Cannot Spread In Areas With Warm Climates

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the new coronavirus does not spread in areas with warm climates.

Verdict: False

While a study did find a possible link between warm weather and a slower transmission rate, there is no evidence that warm weather will stop its spread entirely. The World Health Organization (WHO) noted the new coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas.

Fact Check:

At the time of publication, the new coronavirus has spread to 180 countries and regions and sickened some 838,061 people globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University live map. Amid the global pandemic, some social media users have claimed the new virus cannot spread in areas with warm climates.

“Corona cannot spread in warm weather only cold countries,” says one post shared on Facebook. “When the sun is in the virus endemic area, the virus will completely disappear.”

WHO, however, has documented cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus in numerous countries close to the equator, where the climate is typically warmer. Among those countries are Brazil, Ecuador and Indonesia.

“From the evidence so far, the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather,” the WHO website states on its “Myth Busters” page(RELATED: Does Avoiding Ice Cream And Other Cold Food Products Help To Prevent Contracting Coronavirus?)

While there is no evidence that a warmer climate can prevent the spread of the virus, a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did find that there might be a link between warm weather and a slower rate of transmission. But even this study, which was shared with the public before it was peer-reviewed, noted transmission is still possible, saying, “Our results in no way suggest that 2019-nCoV would not spread in warm humid regions and effective public health interventions should be implemented across the world to slow down the transmission of 2019-nCoV.”

The post also made numerous dubious claims about how to prevent transmission of COVID-19: drinking hot water, eating certain foods and avoiding ice water, among others. There is no evidence to support these claims, and the theories about garlic, ginger, cold water and sunlight have been thoroughly debunked.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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