High heat can kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Research suggests that exposing a surface to a temperature of at least 158 ° F (70 ° C) for 5 minutes deactivates the virus.
This information comes from a
However, heat may not be a practical or reliable method of protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus for several reasons. In the home, appliances and hot water faucets usually cannot heat enough to provide the temperatures needed to kill SARS-CoV-2.
Read on to find out if heat can kill the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and when and how people can use heat to prevent its spread.
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Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a type of coronavirus, causes COVID-19. Limited research suggests that, like other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is sensitive to high temperatures.
The authors of a
- above [167°F] (75 ° C) for 3 minutes (The first value is a correction of a typographical error in the exam.)
- above 149 ° F (65 ° C) for 5 minutes
- above 140 ° F (60 ° C) for 20 minutes
However, because these experiments took place in highly controlled laboratories, they do not necessarily reflect the effectiveness of heat in killing the new coronavirus in more everyday environments, such as hospitals or a person’s home.
Researchers believe that SARS-CoV-2 is spread primarily through respiratory droplets, which are droplets that enter the air when a person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Heat is only useful for sterilization when these droplets land on an object or surface.
Even then, it may not be possible to use temperatures high enough to kill SARS-CoV-2 in the home, as many appliances and faucets cannot provide hot enough water to deactivate the virus.
For this reason, it is best to follow the advice of the
It is possible for someone to develop COVID-19 after touching food containing SARS-CoV-2 and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. However, despite the possibility, there are currently no cases of COVID-19 that doctors can attribute to contact with contaminated food.
Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to cook food at the recommended temperature to avoid foodborne illness. A 2020 review notes that exposure to normal cooking temperatures will kill viruses in food, including SARS-CoV-2.
Other things people can do to enjoy food safely include:
Most washing machines do not reach temperatures high enough to kill SARS-CoV-2. Machines capable of reaching temperatures of
Likewise, hot water from a tap will not be hot enough to kill the new coronavirus. In the United States, tap water cannot exceed
People should also:
- disinfect laundry baskets and laundry baskets regularly
- dry laundry away from people who may have COVID-19
- wash your hands thoroughly after handling unwashed or wet laundry
It is safe to wash the laundry of someone who has COVID-19 with the laundry of other people. However, the person doing the laundry should wear a face mask and protective gloves, especially when handling unwashed clothing, bedding or towels of the infected person.
In some cases, it is not safe to rely on heat for protection against SARS-CoV-2. This may be because the heat source cannot heat up long enough or because exposure to such high temperatures would be dangerous.
The following sources do not provide enough heat to kill SARS-CoV-2:
- dishwashers, which usually heat up at or below
135 ° F (57 ° C)
- hot drinking water
- hot baths
- hair dryer
- hot or hot weather
- saunas and hammams
People should not use heat to kill SARS-CoV-2 on or inside the body. The temperatures that kill SARS-CoV-2 are unsafe to humans and animals and will cause burns.
Even if an individual has a fever, coronaviruses stay alive at these body temperatures.
However, people can use appropriate soaps and cleansers externally on the skin to remove viruses.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects, surfaces and clothing helps stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Other ways to prevent transmission at home
- regularly cleaning frequently touched electronic devices, such as phones and tablets
- regularly clean frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and dining tables
- clean any visibly dirty surface
- wash household furniture, such as cushions, blankets and curtains
- take extra precautions if someone at home has COVID-19, such as wearing gloves and a face mask when cleaning or entering their room, using disinfectants to sterilize surfaces and objects, and keeping their wastes separate and in a sealed bag
Use products suitable for each surface and follow the instructions on the label.
Other important precautions to take against COVID-19
- To get vaccinated : In the United States, the COVID-19 vaccine is available free of charge for people over the age of
12. The vaccine is safe and effective, especially against serious illness and death from COVID-19.
- Physical distancing: At home, avoid close contact with people with COVID-19. Outside the house, stay 6 feet from those who are not members of the household. This distance is approximately two arm’s lengths.
- Wear a face mask: Anyone who has not received the vaccine, is 2 years of age or older, and does not have a conflicting health problem should wear a face mask inside, outside the home. It is not necessary to wear a mask outside, unless someone is in an area with a high number of COVID-19 cases, or if physical distancing outside is not possible .
- Avoid poorly ventilated areas and crowds: Inside, open windows and doors to let in fresh air. Whenever possible, avoid indoor public spaces that do not have a source of fresh air. Being in crowded indoor spaces, such as cinemas and bars, increases the risk of transmission.
- Cover coughs and sneezes: If you wear a face mask, cough into it, but change into a clean mask afterwards. When not wearing a mask, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. In either case, wash your hands afterwards.
- Wash your hands often: Use soap and water to wash your hands for 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or in a public place.
- Watch for symptoms: Watch for coughs, shortness of breath, fever, and other symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms appear, stay home and follow the advice of the local health authority to get tested.
Evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 becomes deactivated at a temperature of
However, although high temperatures can sterilize items that may have come in contact with SARS-CoV-2, it means killing the virus is not always reliable, achievable or safe to try at home.
Use lukewarm water and an appropriate soap or detergent
People can also use hand soaps and hydroalcoholic gel to clean their hands, and normal cooking temperatures to keep their food safe.