French researchers: High temperatures ineffective against coronavirus
The novel coronavirus can survive in high temperatures, researchers said, casting doubt on suggestions that the threat will subside in the summer.
Researchers from the University of Aix-Marseille in France, led by Remi Charrel and Boris Pastorino, found that the virus survived in 140-degree Fahrenheit temperatures typically used to disinfect research labs, The Jerusalem Post reported.
It took 15 minutes of exposure to 197.6-degree temperatures to kill the virus, the newspaper noted, adding that the study had yet to be peer-reviewed.
Researchers did say the lower temperature should be sufficient to deactivate the virus in samples with smaller loads but added that the higher temperature was necessary for larger loads and concluded that disinfecting chemicals were a better option.
Earlier research has reached similar conclusions.
A National Academies of Sciences (NAS) panel told the White House in early April that previous research suggesting a connection between temperature and the virus’s transmissibility was flawed.
“There is some evidence to suggest that [the coronavirus] may transmit less efficiently in environments with higher ambient temperature and humidity; however, given the lack of host immunity globally, this reduction in transmission efficiency may not lead to a significant reduction in disease spread” without efforts such as social distancing, the NAS report stated, noting that SARS and MERS are not seasonal.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci has said he sees indications the virus may appear seasonally but said mitigation efforts are still necessary to prevent it from recurring in the fall.
“I think it very well might” recur seasonally, Fauci said in March. “And the reason I say that is that what we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere, in southern Africa and in the Southern Hemisphere countries, is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season.”