A study in Israel shows that the higher the temperature, the less likely the novel coronavirus survives.
Researchers at the Israel Institute for Biological Research believe that the virus will have a hard time surviving on certain surfaces as the hot summer weather approaches. That means there may be no need to constantly disinfect surfaces in public places, and we can rely on personal hygiene, such as washing hands, to prevent infection.
According to an article published in Haaretz, there is also no danger of the virus spreading through air conditioning systems once it lands on a surface. The scientists tested how long the virus survived on plastic and metal surfaces. At room temperature or 72 degrees Fahrenheit, it survived up to four days. At 104 degrees, the virus disappeared within three hours. At 158 degrees, it dissipated entirely within 10 minutes.
Researchers concluded that during the hot Israeli summer, the virus will not survive on surfaces that reach high temperatures like railings, metal and plastic parts of cars, according to Haaretz. But they cautioned that their research doesn’t mean that the virus will be eliminated entirely during the summer months.
Not every scientist agrees that summer will give us a reprieve in the battle against the coronavirus. Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said higher temps haven’t seemed to stop the spread of the virus so far.
He told NPR: “It looks like the spread of infection has been a bit slower in some of the hotter countries than in the cooler countries. So my interpretation is there’s a little bit of seasonal pressure, perhaps reducing the transmission by 10%, but that’s not nearly enough to stop an epidemic from occurring when we have such a high basic rate of transmissibility.”
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