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High Heat May Kill the Coronavirus

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Medically Reviewed by Dr. James DiNicolantonio Fact Checked

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  • A recent Chinese investigation suggests COVID-19 is highly sensitive to high temperatures and spreads faster in colder climates; its most rapid spread is occurring at a temperature of 8.72 degrees Celsius (47.7 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Fever is a core mechanism by which your body fights viral infection. You can simulate a fever by raising your core body temperature in a sauna, steam bath, or by engaging in physical movement to induce sweating
  • A number of studies have investigated the antiviral effects of sauna bathing. For example, a clinical study involving 50 volunteers showed regular sauna bathers had half the rate of common cold compared to nonusers. Those who use a sauna at least two or three times per week also have a lower risk of influenza and pneumonia
  • Sauna use kills bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses and boosts your immune function by increasing white blood cell, lymphocyte, neutrophil and basophil counts. By elevating your core temperature your body also releases heat shock proteins that help block the replication of influenza viruses
  • Coronaviruses (as a general group) incubate in your sinuses for about three days before moving down into your lungs, and appears to be destroyed by temperatures around 133 degrees F (56 degrees Celsius), which can easily be reached in a sauna

There is still much we do not know about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, but researchers are starting to piece the puzzle together as we go along. For example, a recent Chinese investigation suggests COVID-19 is "highly sensitive" to high temperatures and spreads faster in colder climates; its most rapid spread is occurring at a temperature of 8.72 degrees Celsius.

The researchers recommend countries with colder climates "adopt the strictest control measures" to limit the spread of the disease. Hassan Zaraket, assistant director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research at the American University of Beirut, commented on the preliminary findings to South China Morning Post:


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