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Responding to COVID-19 requires strong epidemiological evidence of environmental and societal determining factors.

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and associated COVID-19 have caused a global emergency that requires an engaged, integrated, interdisciplinary, and rapid response from the scientific community. Climate change, ecological change, and biodiversity loss might have played an important role in the occurrence of this zoonotic pandemic. Climatic and environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and air pollution, are potentially influencing the transmission, spread, and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Strong scientific evidence about the contributions of these environmental determinants in the COVID-19 pandemic is needed, in combination with an understanding of the role of other important societal factors and public health interventions. This evidence will support the public health community in responding to the current crisis, and inform strategies to prevent the recurring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and future emergencies.

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