Does hot weather kill coronavirus? Here’s how the summer heatwave could affect Covid-19

Friday, 7th August 2020, 4:41 pm
Updated Friday, 7th August 2020, 4:42 pm
Does hot weather affect the coronavirus? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Since coronavirus is still relatively new, there are lots of things we don’t know about it, including whether the virus is seasonal.

But as temperatures soar across the UK this weekend, many will be wondering if hot weather kills off Covid-19.

Here’s what you should know.

Does heat kill coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states: “Heat at 56°C kills the SARS coronavirus at around 10000 units per 15 min (quick reduction).”

Unfortunately, hot temperatures don’t have an effect on the virus, as countries both warmer and colder than the UK have reported cases of Covid-19.

On its “myth busters” page, WHO states: “You can catch Covid-19 no matter how sunny or hot the weather is.

“Countries with hot weather have reported cases of Covid-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.”

In terms of whether the weather in general can affect coronavirus, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says that it “is not yet known whether weather and temperature can affect the spread of Covid-19”.

“There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with Covid-19 and investigations are ongoing,” the CDC states.

What does kill the virus?

The WHO says that the virus “loses infectivity after exposure to different commonly used disinfectants and fixatives”.

Soap interferes with the fats in the virus and lifts it from surfaces, which is then rinsed away by water, which is why washing your hands frequently is the first line of defence against the virus.

Bleach is effective at killing the virus due to an active ingredient called sodium hypochlorite.

You can make an at home disinfecting solution with bleach by combining 20 milliliters of household bleach with one litre of water.Always wear gloves when handling bleach, ensure there’s good airflow and never combine bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser as this can produce toxic fumes.

Surgical spirit, which is mostly made up of the alcohol ethanol, has been shown to kill coronaviruses in as little as 30 seconds.

Surface wipes also remove the virus effectively as well, due to the active ingredient in antiseptic wipes - usually this ingredient is benzalkonium chloride.