New US study says high temperature, sunlight kill coronavirus in just 2 minutes
London, April 24, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Coronavirus virus particles live for just two minutes on sunny surfaces when temperatures are 70f (25c) and above, a leading US scientist said on Thursday.
Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate boss Bill Bryan revealed the powerful combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and warmer temperatures on Covid-19 while flanked by Donald Trump at the White House Thursday.
He said: ‘Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect solar light seems to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air. We’ve seen a similar effect with temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity – or both – is generally less favorable to the virus.’
Bryan explained that the half life – the time it takes for the number of virus particles to decay and halve in number – dramatically decreases as the weather warms up and UV levels increase, sparking hopes warmer summer conditions could dramatically reduce the number of coronavirus infections and deaths.
Commenting on his findings, Bryan said: ‘The virus is dying at a much more rapid rate just from exposure to higher temperatures…In summary, within the conditions we’ve tested to date, the virus in droplets of saliva survives best in indoors and dry conditions. The virus does not survive as well in droplets of saliva, and dies the quickest in the presence of direct sunlight in these conditions.’
Bryan explained how tests had been conducted by suspending a particle of the virus in air inside a drum, with help from the prestigious Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
He went on to reveal that bleach has been found to kill the virus within five minutes, with a concentrated alcohol solution killing it within 30 seconds.
He added that it would be ‘irresponsible’ to say that summer weather would kill the virus, meaning people could ignore current social distancing guidelines and stay at home orders to go out and see friends as well as family.
He also warned that the virus could survive outside in warm weather if it was not exposed to direct sunlight. Bryan concluded by saying that if he was having any summer events with close family members he was isolating with, he would do so outside in the sun, rather than inside.