It’s far from settled science, experts say.March 17, 2020, 3:24 AM7 min read When President Donald Trump asserted last month that the novel coronavirus may dissipate “as the heat comes in” — that is, in warmer weather — infectious disease experts responded with skepticism. The virus is less than three months old and, it’s not clear if it will dissipate as the seasons change from winter to spring like some other respiratory viruses tend to. But researchers now suggest that humidity, more than heat, may prove effective at choking off the person-to-person transmissions that make the disease’s spread so dangerous. Still, it’s far from settled science. Dr. Alan Evangelista, a microbiology and virology professor at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, has studied common coronaviruses and influenza particles for eight years. He says his research indicates that “the size and overall composition of [the novel coronavirus] particle is similar to other coronaviruses we have tested” — meaning his findings may shed light on how the coronavirus spreads, and possibly how it dies out. Those findings show that “transmission is highly efficient under drier and colder conditions,” but far less so in a humid environment. According to the Centers for

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