Can Coronavirus Survive Heat?

You may have wondered if the new coronavirus would go away as the summer weather warms and gets more humid. But scientists recently looked at the few small studies on the subject and found there isn’t enough evidence to know if this is true.

To start with, the real-world conditions in which the virus infects people can be hard to reproduce in a lab. Different humidity levels, in particular, can be tough to re-create. Plus, temperature and humidity can vary quite a bit depending on where you are, especially in a country as large as the U.S.

Also, some strains of the virus can change depending on the environment. They may survive and thrive in various geographic regions or climates.

Even when scientists study real-world examples, the evidence is unclear. Though some viral illnesses seem to slow in the summer months, this isn’t always the case. In countries such as Australia and Iran, COVID-19 has spread very quickly despite warm and humid weather.

Every virus and pandemic is different, and there are a number of things that influence them, even in hot and humid weather. With COVID-19, there is simply not enough evidence to know if there will be a significant slowdown in infections as temperatures rise.

That’s why experts recommend that you don’t assume that summer months will be safer for the transfer of COVID-19 and that you to continue to take appropriate steps to protect yourself and those around you.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on June 03, 2020

Sources

SOURCE:

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine: “Rapid Expert Consultation on SARS-CoV-2 Survival in Relation to Temperature and Humidity and Potential for Seasonality for the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 7, 2020) (2020).”

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