Does heat kill viruses?

Jan 29, 2020 | Info | 0 comments

No. Because a virus is not alive, so it can’t be killed. But, a virus can become inactive or denatured/destroyed by heat.

The temperature which inactivates viruses and also the time they have to be exposed to heat to be inactivated varies from one family of viruses to another. But in general, viruses can be inactivated by heat.

Here are examples:

  • Poxviruses- they’re sensitive to temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius
  • Adenoviruses- they’re relatively thermostable, they can withstand temperature 56 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes
  • Herpesviruses- thermolabile
  • Retroviruses (HIV)- virions are sensitive to higher temperature but relatively resistent to UV
  • Filoviruses (Ebola, Marburg)- virions stable at 20 degrees, inactivated at 60.

And so on, but there are also other ways how to inactivate/destroy virions, for example detergents, acidic pH, fat solvents…

Source: Quora


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