Summer, my favorite season. It can’t get here soon enough. Will summer help us with the coronavirus/COVID and help terminate this thing sooner rather than later?
This study was published on April 2nd out of Hong Kong in Lancet Microbe. I believe it may be some good news or I may be too optimistic. This paper is also an exercise in why you need to look up the supplementary material because a lot of goodies live in there. Download it for yourself!
How did COVID behave to different temperatures?
They measured the stability of SARS-CoV-2 at different temperatures. I’m going to break it down in Fahrenheit so that you don’t have to ask Siri to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit numerous times like I did. I am completely open to be wrong regarding the following interpretations as looking at virus titers is not something I’ve honestly ever done. These following numbers do not necessarily mean that they are infective at those titers either.
39.2 degrees Fahrenheit, the virus is extremely stable. It seems to hang around just fine for two weeks, unfortunately. When it starts heating up, however, things become a bit more favorable for us. The temps in NY in Feb/March were 30-50 degrees.
At 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit, this stability gets cut in half to where it’s barely around at one week.
At 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the virus is even more unstable living about just a day.
I tried to find how this correlates to other viruses such as influenza but this was a wild goose chase with apples to oranges comparisons. Not worth confusing you all (nor myself) with that data.
How does this translate to different climates?
How this translates to planning for spread in different climates and curve modeling, I don’t know. I also don’t know how different surfaces will affect this outside of irresponsible extrapolation on my part. I’ll leave that up to the epidemiologists. I just know that the virus living in my car that’s sitting in the hot Florida sun will be routinely knocked out as I contaminate it with my dirty scrubs daily and my laundry sits in my hot garage.
The paper also discusses the stability on paper, tissue paper, wood, cloth, glass, money, stainless steel, plastic, and masks. Hope you all have a good amount of sterilizing wipes around!
A hat tip to the authors and to my wife who sent me this paper.
Hopefully Summer will help us with COVID.
Click here for breakdowns of other COVID-19 Articles.
Chin A W H, Chu J T S, Perera M R A, et al. Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions. Lancet Microbe 2020; published online April 2. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(20)30003-3.
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