The role of the Sun in the spread of viral respiratory diseases

Why do most viral epidemics spread cyclically in autumn and winter in the globe’s temperate regions? According to an interdisciplinary team of researchers of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, the University of Milan, the Lombardy regional agency for the environment and the Don Gnocchi Foundation, the answer is intimately related to our Sun: their theoretical model shows that both the prevalence and evolution of epidemics are strongly correlated with the amount of daily solar irradiation that hits a given location on the Earth at a given time of the year.

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