To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, several preventive measures were recommended by health authorities like using disinfectants to kill Novel Coronavirus. There has been a lot of interest to know if heat can kill Novel Coronavirus and at what temperature. This helps to prevent the spread of infection and using heat as a way to kill Coronavirus.
At the time of writing this article, there is no research on what temperature kills Novel Coronavirus. However, there were multiple studies published on other Coronaviruses like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). As all these viruses are sister viruses with similar characteristics, studies on SARS and MERS may be extrapolated to have an understanding of how temperature may impact 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 25 C for two hours.
Though more research is needed to determine the exact temperature that inactivates Novel Coronavirus, these studies may give us an idea of what temperature is required to kill Novel Coronavirus. As it requires 600 C for at least 30 minutes for SARS Coronavirus and 650 C for 25 minutes for MERS Coronavirus, similar temperature and duration may be required to inactivate Novel Coronavirus. Based on these studies, boiling liquids (boiling typically reaches a temperature of 100 C) is a very safe method to kill these viruses. Cooking at a high temperature may also inactivate Novel Coronavirus completely.