PREPRINT: Meteorological factors correlate with transmission of 2019-nCoV: Proof of incidence of novel coronavirus pneumonia in Hubei Province, China

Objective: many potential factors contribute to the outbreak of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of various meteorological factors on the incidence of COVID-19. Methods: Taking Hubei province of China as an example,where COVID-19 was first reported and there were the most cases, we collected 53 days of cases up to March 10(total 67773 confirmed cases).COVID-19 confirmed cases were retrieved from the official website of Hubei Health Commission. Ten meteorological parameters were provided by China meteorological administration,including average pressure (hPa), average temperature (°C) , maximum temperature, minimum temperature (°C), average water vapor pressure (hPa), average relative humidity (%),etc.Cross correlation analysis and linear regression were used to judge the relationship of meteorological factors and increment of COVID-19 confirmed cases. Results: Under 95% CI, the increment of confirmed cases in Hubei were significantly correlated with four meteorological parameters of average pressure, average temperature, minimum temperature and average water vapor pressure (equivalent to absolute humidity).The average pressure was positively correlated with the increment (r=+0.358,p=0.010).The negative correlations included average temperature (r=-0.306,p=0.029), minimum air temperature (r=-0.347,p=0.013), average water vapor pressure (r=-0.326,p=0.020). The linear regression results show if minimum temperature increases by 1°C, the incremental confirmed cases in Hubei decreases by 72.470 units on average. Conclusion: The incidence of COVID-19 was significantly correlated with average pressure, average temperature, minimum temperature and average water vapor pressure. It is positively correlated with the average pressure and negatively correlated with the other three parameters. Compared with relative humidity, 2019-nCov is more sensitive to water vapor pressure. The reason why the epidemic situation in Hubei expanded rapidly is significantly related to the climate characteristics of low temperature and dryness of Hubei in winter.

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