Sunlight kills COVID-19 while warmer temperatures and humid weather significantly damage the virus, according to the latest breakthrough research from the US Department of Homeland Security's most advanced bio containment lab, released at the White House in Washington on Thursday.
The coronavirus outbreak in the US has killed nearly 50,000 people and infected more than 860,000 till date. Research around the effect of temperature and humidity has been gaining traction for weeks, these are the most downloaded papers on research websites but this is the first time the US government has put an official stamp on initial results of temperature tests on COVID-19.
'Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both on surfaces and in the air. We've seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well. Increasing the temperature and humidity or both is generally less favourable to the virus,' Dr. Bill Bryan, chief of the science and technology directorate at the US Department of Homeland Security, said.
In a room at 70-75 F temperature with 20 per cent humidity, the half life of the virus is about an hour, according to Dr. Bryan. 'But you get outside and it cuts down to a minute and a half, very significant difference when it when it gets hit with UV rays,' he said.
According to the same research, the virus' half life on surfaces reduces dramatically with a combination increase of temperature and humidity.