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This One Thing Can Kill Coronavirus in 34 Minutes, New Study Shows

Researchers claim that COVID-19 can be destroyed on surfaces.

Your house is obviously the safest refuge from the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe—stay there and you're at far less risk. However, the majority of infectious disease experts agree that if you are going to venture out, staying outdoors versus spending time in other indoor spaces—like bars, restaurants, other people's houses, etc.—is your best bet in keeping yourself healthy and virus-free. This has to do with a variety of factors, but is primarily backed up by studies about how the virus spreads via airflow and also how long it can live on contaminated surfaces.

New research published earlier this month, regarding how long it takes the sun to kill the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus, might also motivate you to get outside this summer.

Wipes Out 90% of COVID-19 on Surfaces, They Claim

According to a study authored by US Army and Food and Drug Administration scientist alums Jose-Luis Sagripanti and David Lytle published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology, the sun can be a powerful force when it comes to eliminating the virus. They found that in just 34 minutes, it can wipe out 90 percent or more of coronavirus living on surfaces.

"The presented data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 should be inactivated relatively fast (faster than influenza A) during summer in many populous cities of the world, indicating that sunlight should have a role in the occurrence, spread rate, and duration of coronavirus pandemics," scientists explain. 

Unfortunately, during the winter months—December until March—the virus is most infectious. In colder climates, it can live on surfaces for up to a day or more "with risk of re-aerosolization and transmission in most of these cities."

The researchers claim mandatory stay-at-home orders may not be as effective as policymakers hope, due to the fact that sunlight can effectively kill the virus. 

"In contrast, healthy people outdoors receiving sunlight could have been exposed to lower viral dose with more chances for mounting an efficient immune response," they explain. 

But before you head outdoors, keep in mind that several studies have found that warmer weather does NOT slow the spread of the virus, including one published this May in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  Additionally, you should be cautioned by current coronavirus stats—which show that new infections are at a record high in some of the hottest climates in the country.

To Remain Safe and Sound

Don't count on the sun to save you from COVID-19. Follow the advice of the experts: stay in your home unless it's absolutely essential to leave; wash your hands frequently; practice social distancing; wear a face covering; and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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