Can heat, cold, or UV light kill the virus?

The World Health Organization says there is no evidence that extreme temperatures will kill COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a myth busters fact sheet where it addresses whether COVID-19 can be prevented or killed by extreme temperatures, UV light and more. 

It is possible to catch the coronavirus no matter how hot or cold it is outside — temperatures over 25C and sun exposure are not effective means of preventing COVID-19. It’s also possible to transmit the COVID-19 virus in hot and humid climates. 

"The normal human body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the external temperature or weather," it says. 

The WHO said adding hot peppers to your meals or taking ice baths/hot baths are both unlikely to prevent transmission as well. 

And, according to the WHO: "UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation."

When it comes to consumer products that market themselves as being able to disinfect surfaces with UV, many say they are not worth the money.

“If you can safely look at these lights and be in the room with them, they are not powerful enough to kill COVID-19,” said Taylor Mann, CEO of CleanSlate, a Toronto-based company that produces disinfection units for mobile devices.

Through all its messaging, WHO maintains that the best way to protect oneself against COVID-19 is to wash hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


Published By:
Emily Rendell-Watson

Emily Rendell-Watson

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Updated
by Karen Unland

Tagged:

safety

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For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, see edmonton.ca/covid19, alberta.ca/covid19, canada.ca/covid19, and the World Health Organization.