Pollen Likely to Explain Seasonality of Flu-like Epidemics. Will that be true for COVID-19? A Dutch study.

Avatar for Martijn Hoogeveen
Grass pollen seasonal COVID-19

Elsevier Science’s journal the Science of the Total Environment (STE) accepted on April 5, 2020 my study. It is about the inverse relation between pollen counts and flu epidemics in The Netherlands between 2016 and 2019. Editor Jay Gan: “(red: we accept it) given the time-sensitivity and great significance of information related to the COVID-19 crisis”.

Inverse relation between pollen count and flu-like incidence

Citing the abstract: “There is uncertainty if current models for the Covid-19 pandemic should already take into account seasonality. That is because current environmental factors do not provide a powerful explanation of such seasonality, especially given climate differences between countries with moderate climates. It is hypothesized that one major factor is overlooked: pollen count. Pollens are documented to invoke strong immune responses and might create an environmental factor that makes it more difficult for flu-like viruses to survive outside a host. This Dutch study confirms that there is a significant inverse correlation between pollen count and weekly changes in medical flu consults, and that there is a highly significant inverse correlation between hay fever incidence, as measured by prescribed medication, and weekly flu consults. This supports the idea that pollens are a direct or indirect factor in the seasonality of flu-like epidemics. If seasonality will be observed during the covid-19 pandemic as well, it is not unlikely that pollen play a role.”

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