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Does taking a hot bath prevents Novel Coronavirus infection?

Does taking a hot bath prevents Novel Coronavirus infection?

Last Reviewed : 12/16/2020
Does taking a hot bath prevents Novel Coronavirus infection?

Prevention is better than cure. Taking all necessary precautions to prevent Coronavirus infection is important during this COVID-19 pandemic. Personal hygiene and taking a shower everyday helps to stay healthy. There has been a lot of speculation around taking a hot bath to prevent Novel Coronavirus infection.

Regular shower using soap and water is more than enough to prevent Coroanvirus infection. There is no evidence to prove that hot bath alone without using soap can prevent Novel Coronavirus infection. Even though there is no research looking at what temperature Novel Coronavirus gets inactivated, there is plenty of evidence for SARS Coronavirus and MERS Coronavirus which are close cousins of Novel Coronavirus.

According to a study published in Medical Microbiology and Immunology, heat treatment at 600 C for at least 30 minutes must be used to completely inactivate SARS-CoV. At a lower temperature, the SARS virus was still infective depending on the type of the surface where the virus was located. Another study published in Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses, heat inactivation of MERS-CoV was researched. Temperature of 650 C for 25 minutes was required to have a strong negative effect on viral infectivity. On the contrary, there was no significant decrease in the viral titres at a temperature of 250 C for two hours.

Average water temperature during shower is around 450 C or 1120 F. Few people may take a hot bath with temperatures around 500 C and few people may take shower with temperature below 400 C. Based on these studies, temperatures of 400 C to 500 C are insufficient to inactivate Novel Coronavirus. Regular shower using soap helps to prevent Novel Coronavirus infection. Any soap has the capability to dissolve the fatty outer layer of the Coronavirus thus inactivating the virus.

 

References:

  1. Effects of air temperature and relative humidity on coronavirus survival on surfaces. Casanova LM et al. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 May;76(9):2712-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02291-09. Epub 2010 Mar 12.
  2. The Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Viability of the SARS Coronavirus. Chan KH et al. Adv Virol. 2011;2011:734690. doi: 10.1155/2011/734690. Epub 2011 Oct 1.
  3. Stability and inactivation of SARS coronavirus. Rabenau HF et al. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2005 Jan;194(1-2):1-6.
  4. Heat inactivation of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Leclercq I et al. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2014 Sep;8(5):585-6. doi: 10.1111/irv.12261. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

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