Press "Enter" to skip to content

Volume 1 article 1 (July 2020)

Influence of important environmental parameters on the spread and severity of COVID-19: Part 1.

Authors: Vikrant Tiwari and Nimisha Sharma.
Available online: May 21, 2020

Total Downloads: 79

Abstract: In the absence of the detailed COVID-19 epidemiological data or large benchmark studies, an effort has been made to explore and correlate the relation of parameters like environment, economic indicators, and the large scale exposure of different prevalent diseases, with COVID-19 spread and severity amongst the different countries affected by COVID-19. Data for environmental, socio-economic and others important infectious diseases were collected from reliable and open source resources like World Health Organization, World Bank, etc. Further, this large data set is utilized to understand the COVID-19 worldwide spread using simple statistical tools. Important observations that are made in this study are the high degree of resemblance in the pattern of temperature and humidity distribution among the cities severely affected by COVID-19. Further, It is surprising to see that in spite of the presence of many environmental parameters that are considered favorable (like clean air, clean water, EPI, etc.), many countries are suffering with the severe consequences of this disease. Lastly a noticeable segregation among the locations affected by different prevalent diseases (like Malaria, HIV, Tuberculosis, and Cholera) was also observed. Among the considered environmental factors, temperature, humidity and EPI should be an important parameter in understanding and modelling COVID-19 spreads. Further, contrary to intuition, countries with strong economies, good health infrastructure and cleaner environment suffered disproportionately higher with the severity of this disease. Therefore, policymaker should sincerely review their country preparedness toward the potential future contagious diseases, weather natural or manmade.

KEYWORDS: COVID19, Environmental factors, EPI, Epidemiology, Humidity, Pandemic, Respiratory droplets, Temperature, SARS-COV-2.

Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.

Article history:
First Received: 13 May 2020
In revised form: 17 May 2020
Accepted: 18 May 2020
Available online: 21 May 2020

Authors and Affiliations:
1. Vikrant Tiwari (PhD) | First & Corresponding author | Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India.
2. Nimisha Sharma (PhD) | Second author | Scientist Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi, India.

Cite this article:    
Tiwari, V. and Sharma, N. Influence of important environmental parameters on the spread and severity of COVID-19: Part 1. American Journal of Environmental Biology, (1) 1-12, July 2020.

Copyright and Permissions:
Copyright © 2020, AJEB
Reprint and Permissions

Publisher’s note: This journal (AJEB) and its publishers remains neutral with regard to any claims in published maps, institutional affiliations, opinion’s or otherwise. Information presented in this article is the sole responsibility of its authors.


  1. Wu F, Zhao S, Yu B, Chen Y-M, Wang W, Song Z-G, et al. A new coronavirus associated with human respiratory disease in China. Nature. 2020;579(7798):265–9.
  2. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al. A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020;382:727–33.
  3. Mapping COVID-19. Repository on novel coronavirus COVID-19 (2019-nCoV). Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, 2019.
  4. Dong E, Du H, Gardner L. An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2020;20(5):533–4.
  5. Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Situation Reports. World Health Organization. 2020.
  6. COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. (
  7. Q & A on COVID-19. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 2020 ( ).
  8. Ota M. Will we see protection or reinfection in COVID-19? Nature Reviews Immunology. 2020;20(6):351.
  9. Xu B, Gutierrez B, Mekaru S, Sewalk K, Goodwin L, Loskill A, et al. Epidemiological data from the COVID-19 outbreak, real-time case information. Nature News. Nature Publishing ( ).
  10. Wendling Z A, Emerson JW, de Sherbinin A, Esty D C, et al. 2020 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy.2020.
  11. Global Health Workforce Statistics, OECD, supplemented by country data report on Physicians (per 1,000 people). World Health Organization. 2016.
  12. Global Health Workforce Statistics, OECD, supplemented by country data report on Nurses and midwives (per 1,000 people), World Health Organization. 2016.
  13. Global Health Expenditure database report on current health expenditure per capita (current US$). World Health Organization. 2017.
  14. GDP per capita (current US$). Data. World Bank national accounts data, and OECD National Accounts data files. 2020.
  15. Global Health Data Repository. World Health Statistics report on incidence of malaria (per 1,000 population at risk). World Health Organization. 2016.
  16. Number of new HIV infections – Estimates by country. World Health Organization. 2018.
  17. Tuberculosis – incidence data. Global health observatory data repository. World Health Organization. 2018.
  18. Cholera – incidence data. Global health observatory data repository. World Health Organization. 2016.
  19. Wells WF. Airborne contagion and air hygiene: an ecological study of droplet infections. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press; 1955.
  20. Stetzenbach LD, Buttner MP, Cruz P. Detection and enumeration of airborne biocontaminants. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2004;15(3):170–4.
  21. Atkinson J, Chartier Y, Pessosa-Silva CL, Jenson P, Li Y, Seto W-H. Natural ventilation for infection control in health-care settings. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2009.
  22. Bourouiba L. Turbulent Gas Clouds and Respiratory Pathogen Emissions: Potential Implications for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19. JAMA. 2020;323(18):1837–1838. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4756
  23. Tang J, Li Y, Eames I, Chan P, Ridgway G. Factors involved in the aerosol transmission of infection and control of ventilation in healthcare premises. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2006;64(2):100–14.
  24. Li X, Shang Y, Yan Y, Yang L, Tu J. Modelling of evaporation of cough droplets in inhomogeneous humidity fields using the multi-component Eulerian-Lagrangian approach. Building and Environment. 2018;128:68–76.
  25. Peci A, Winter A-L, Li Y, Gnaneshan S, Liu J, Mubareka S. et al. Effects of Absolute Humidity, Relative Humidity, Temperature, and Wind Speed on Influenza Activity in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2019;85(6):e02426-18.
  26. Liu L, Wei J, Li Y, Ooi A. Evaporation and dispersion of respiratory droplets from coughing. Indoor Air. 2016;27(1):179–90.
  27. Leung NHL, Chu DKW, Shiu EYC, Chan K-H, Mcdevitt JJ, Hau BJP, et al. Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nature Medicine. 2020;26(5):676–80.
  28. Situation report on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). World Health Organization. May 13;114,2020. ( ).
  29. Population density (people per sq. km of land area). Food and Agriculture Organization and World Bank. 2018.
  30. Country comparison: Report on median age. The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 2020.
  31. Seasonal influenza – fact sheets. World Health Organization. 2018.
  32. FluNet – Web-tool for global influenza virological surveillance. World Health Organization. 2020.
  33. Alonso WJ, Yu C, Viboud C, Richard SA, Schuck-Paim C, Simonsen L, et al. A global map of hemispheric influenza vaccine recommendations based on local patterns of viral circulation. Scientific Reports. 2015;5(1).