Research Proposal: Factors affecting the spread of Covid-19
Coronavirus is a group of single stranded ribonucleic acid virus that causes respiratory decompensation which includes Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and most recently Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-19 (Covid-19 or SARS-Cov-2). I plan to research and provide analysis to factors that affect the transmission of Covid-19 since it is one of the most prominent infection that is currently globally spread. Suspected to originate in Wuhan, China and arising to existence in December 2019, the extensive affliction can be attributed to the highly contagious characteristic of Covid-19. As a male predominant infection that can colonize individuals with absence of symptoms requiring a minimum of 2-week self-quarantine post-contraction, Covid-19 carries the risk of not only first- but also second- and third-degree exposure that can exponentiate the number of diseased. Subsequently, the difficulty in finding the cure for Covid-19 has led to sufferings and ultimately leading to millions of deaths for almost an entire year.
There are three modes of viral transmission: fomites, droplets, and aerosols. Respiratory droplets include fomites in which secretions remain on surface area enabling contamination through contact and entrance to eyes, nose, or mouth. The 6 feet rule that we now commonly follow derive from the idea that respiratory droplets fall within 6 feet parameter given the virus density. Contact precautions are implemented as secreted respiratory droplets are known to potentially remain on surface as fomites up to 3 days before eradication, while recent studies claim that higher degree of temperature and increased amount of rain reduce the quantity and ultimately decrease the spread of Covid-19. Contrary to studies conducted with Covid-19 as a respiratory droplet, many questions remain to be exploited with Covid-19 as an aerosol with recent studies claiming that the virus is more than capable of traveling past 6 feet.With further research on this topic, I hope to draw a better understanding on the influencing factors that either increased or decreased Covid-19 transmission in different ways.
The databases I initially accessed are the two general databases, Web of Science and Science Direct. Searching with the key words “spread of Covid-19” and “impact factors,” I came across four different sources which I included only two of them for this research proposal. I then tried some specialized databases, such as PubMed, Health and Medicine (Gale One File), and CINAHL Complete. More search terms, including “SARS-CoV-2,” “Coronavirus disease,” “droplet,” and “aerosol” in addition to the previous ones, were used for these databases to find the other three articles listed below.
Eslami, H. & Jalili, M. (2020). The role of environmental factors to transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). AMB Express, 10(1), 92. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-020-01028-0
This literature review provides an overview of possible environmental effects on the spread of Covid-19, such as how higher temperature helps demolishing SARS-CoV-2 or how smoother surfaces have higher resistance of SARS-CoV-2, by evaluating the results of other studies. The recent studies on the presence of Covid-19 in the sewer as well as food, food packages, and food handlers are also explained to discuss about the possible aerosol and droplet transmission of Covid-19.
Huang, H., Liang, X., Huang, J., Yuan, Z., Ouyang, H., & Wei, Y. (2020). Correlations between Meteorological Indicators, Air Quality and the COVID-19 Pandemic in 12 Cities across China. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering. http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.utc.edu/10.1007/s40201-020-00564-y
This is a primary source that illustrates the correlations between Covid-19 and meteorological indicators from 12 cities in China by analyzing the collected data of Covid-19 cases and meteorological indicators with correlation tests. The results show that Covid-19 transmission was not affected by the wind speed, humidity, or precipitation but temperature; however, the recovery was affected by the temperature and precipitation—the higher the temperatures and the more the precipitation, the higher the recovery rate of Covid-19.
Iqbal, M. M., Abid, I., Hussain, S., Shahzad, N., Waqas, M. S., & Iqbal, M. J. (2020). The effects of regional climatic condition on the spread of COVID-19 at global scale. Science of The Total Environment, 739, 140101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140101
This primary study aims to study the influence of regional climate parameters on Covid-19 transmission by comparing the Covid-19 case data with regional climatic parameters data from different countries. The average daylight hours and the temperature showed association with the spread of Covid-19, as countries with lower temperature had more Covid-19 cases than the warmer regions.
Ortolan, A., Lorenzin, M., Felicetti, M., Doria, A., &Ramonda, R. (2020). Does gender influence clinical expression and disease outcomes in COVID-19? A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 99, 496-504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.07.076
This is a literature reviewlinking trends between gender and Covid-19 mortality and recovery by using PubMed and Embase as databases. The authors conclude that males not only have higher Covid-19 mortality but also have lower chance of recovery and higher risk of catching severe disease in addition to Covid-19 due to biological factors, s
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