Mythbusters: Can hot or cold climates kill COVID-19?
It seems every week there are new rumors about COVID-19. Recently, we’ve seen a resurgence of the myths surrounding hot and cold climates -vs- the virus. Here are the myths and the facts:
Myth: Hot temperatures can kill the virus
Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hot temperatures – this includes outdoor heat, taking a hot bath or drying your hands with a hair dryer – will NOT kill the coronavirus — either inside or outside of your body.
Much of Southeast Asia has a tropical climate, but the region has not been spared from a surge in COVID cases. Take for instance, Saudi Arabia, although the desert sun can reach 122°F, more than 298,000 cases have been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Extreme heat (194°F and above for 15 minutes) can kill bacteria in food, Dr. Leong Hoe Nam, infectious disease specialist from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, explained in an email to CNBC. He said that degree of heat will effectively destroy the virus, but no human can survive the intensity of that level of heat.
Myth: Cold temperatures can kill the virus
Fact: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill COVID-19 or any other disease for that matter. The normal human body temperature remains around 97.7°F to 98.6°F, regardless of the external temperature or weather.
There are no existing treatments that can actually kill COVID-19, so the best practice is to do everything you can to slow the spread. Keep surfaces clean by wiping them down frequently with germ-killing aerosol sprays and wipes, wash your hands with soap and water – properly and frequently – and wear a mask, stay at home when possible and when you are out in public practice social distancing.
There is a lot of disinformation out there - so much so that WHO has called the fight against COVID an “infodemic” of disinformation. If you read or hear something about COVID, make sure you check the validity of that information with trusted organizations such as the CDC and WHO.
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