26-04-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
This is a fact that has been pointed out by different studies conducted by universities and research groups around the world.
In places that offer particular exposure to the sun with high temperature and low humidity, such as the Kenyan coast, Covid-19 is much weaker in transmission and virulence.
This is one reason, but not the only one, why the 'global south' has the lowest coronavirus mortality rate.
In fact, when we analyse the figures for Africa, it will be seen that the mortality rate soars in its extreme areas, the Mediterranean Arab states (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt) and South Africa, which has a climate and seasonality very similar to that of Italy.
But even where the comfort of official data cannot constitute an established truth, it can be seen that in situations of high altitude, forest and regions not particularly visited by the sun and heat, contagions and the related serious cases (which in Africa health deficiencies can more easily turn into deaths) are more numerous.
Exactly the same way that the maritime areas of the African coast overlooking the Indian Ocean have been less affected by the incidence of the virus on the health of the population.
The latest study on this subject comes from the University of Edinburgh and was recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Yes, because this time they are not analysing the open spaces, which, according to many experts, are a factor in the dispersion of Covid-19, nor the presence of vitamin D in the sun's rays, but a phenomenon... "'skin' phenomenon.
In addition to temperature, the study looked at many variables (age, ethnicity, economic status, population density, air pollution and so on) without finding any particular correlation with the lower number of deaths, while the data clearly show that people living in areas with a higher quotient of exposure to UVA rays, which make up almost all the sunlight, have a lower risk of dying from Covid-19 than those living in places with less exposure.
While in some ways this is nothing new (it is a well-known fact that the sun is good medicine against heart attacks and helps lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation), the most likely motivation for the Scottish researchers is dermatological: exposure to sunlight causes the skin to release nitric oxide and this could reduce the virus' ability to replicate, as has already been found in some studies conducted in Edinburgh laboratories. The production of nitric oxide, however, is already at the basis of other benefits that warm, sunny places can bring to the human organism, from blood circulation to the good functioning of the lungs, kidneys and liver.
In practice, without contact, in places like southern Kenya, transmission of the virus would be virtually impossible, and even with direct contact of a body heated by direct sunlight, transmission would be very weak.
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