Is the new strain of corona virus susceptible to heat? Skimming the map supplies the idea that it is, and many unpublished research suggest that heat might slow down the virus.

If so why raising temperature indoors to say around 30 C or more is not among the WHO recommendations to cut down possible transmission of this virus indoors?

For instance in Iraq people set their AC up to 30 C at winter, even though the winter season in Iraq is not that cold. I heard that people in NY and other places set their indoor temperature to around 21 C while they are living in a rather harsh winter season, 21 C seems to be a very nice temperature level for the virus to thrive on surfaces indoors, or even to be transmitted through air indoors, and thereby easing its transmission.

To re-iterate my question:

Why the WHO and other CDC services are not advocating setting temperature indoors to 30 C or higher coupled with increasing hydration and frequent drinking of water and liquids to keep the throat moist, at least in cold places that are hit hard by the virus?

  • Do you have evidence that increasing the ambient temperature to 86 F (30 C) would "slow down" the virus?
    – BobE
    Apr 12, 2020 at 18:46
  • There is indirect evidence, one look at the maps of countries in which its prevalent, as well as the general world corona virus map does support the claim that temperature has an effect, also there are some unpublished results which agrees with that. Hot countries are generally speaking doing better, even most of the times (not always) hot places in countries which are prevalent with the virus are doing better, there are of course some exceptions, but the general outlook supports a possible role. Apr 12, 2020 at 18:51
  • they way how I see matters is that there is more or less enough information to start an ACT, you don't wait for solid evidence, if there is a probable role of heat then you need to act under the benefit of doubt. Waiting means possible loss of life that could have been saved by a rather simple measure that is most of the time harmless. So why not act? That's the question? The cost of waiting is very high! Actually the highest, that is human life, so why wait? Apr 12, 2020 at 18:56
  • Looking at maps is hardly a controlled experiment, too many uncontrolled variables - as an example, use of anti-malarial vaccinations are likely to be more prevalent in hot humid countries. (Keep in mind that the alveolar sacs are humid and generally at a temp of 98)
    – BobE
    Apr 12, 2020 at 19:08
  • try this: [ medicalsciences.stackexchange.com/questions/21520/… ]
    – BobE
    Apr 12, 2020 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


When you say slow down the rate of transmission indoors, most countries that I know of with this condition are in lock-down or practicising social distancing to reduce the risk of spread. So, I presume that you must mean the spread of disease from an infected person to another in the same household.

We have some data to suggest that virus viability is reduced with heat. I haven't seen exact data for 30 deg C for SARS-CoV-2 but MERS-CoV viability drops from 48 hours to 5-24 hours. But if you're in the house with an infected person, that person will keep generating virus so it doesn't matter whether it's 5 hours or 48 hours on a surface if the surface keeps being re-contaminated.

Now, even if you could maintain the internal temperature of a room at 30 deg C in a cold or temperate climate ( I doubt my house can reach that temperature in winter ), I presume that you're talking about using heat pumps as they are generally considered the most cost effective way of heating. Ignoring the fact to that air to surface heat transmission is very ineffective, you're going to be stirring up air currents with either the forced air flow or temperature gradients being established inside the house, and this is likely to distribute virus particles more widely.

In short this doesn't seem to be practical, and really needs testing to see if it makes the situation worse or better.

  • It need not be from a person that is always with you in the house, it can be from a person visiting you say for half an hour or an hour or so, and the virus particles came out from him to the house, it could be present on your clothes and then go to the house when you come in, it might even be airborne from a person coughing nearby the house. If heat can kill the virus and reduce its life then we can use it. About the air currents, I don't think that such a thing happened with other viruses say in Iraq where house room temperatures at winter are 30 C for years so I think its not substantial? Apr 12, 2020 at 23:51
  • Is this question specific to Iraq? And aren't you practising social distancing there? Apr 12, 2020 at 23:53
  • No the question is directed to cold places with heavy lose of lives like in Italy, Spain, USA, UK, Germany, China etc.. Iraq is a hot country and the virus has no chance to survive in the coming summer where temperatures would rise up to 45 C - 50 C, and most indoors would have temperatures not less than 33 C or even up to 36 C. So the problem is not with Iraq. There is a curfew in Iraq, but people are still visiting of course and for many hours, daughters and sons are visiting their parents, neighbor's children are coming to your house, people are fixing households, etc.. Apr 13, 2020 at 0:02
  • About your "non- practical" point, this is not well addressed here, in what sense it's not practical, you can for example overheat the room after a visitor came into your house, you can even heat the rooms in consequential manner to kill whatever virus is there (possibly in air either), you can also plan to upgrade temperatures a bit by bit over many days in order to get used to it. What's important is the principle, I think there are many practical ways to make it work. Apr 13, 2020 at 0:09

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