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The coronavirus that has ravaged the world, effectively bringing it to a halt, is not as resistant to high temperatures as previously believed, a new study notes.
The research, which was published in the bioRxiv repository and has not been peer-reviewed yet, notes that researchers from France infected African green monkey kidney cells with COVID-19, placing the cells in a “dirty” environment and a “clean” environment. Both vials were heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) for one hour and the researchers found the virus was still able to replicate.
However, higher temperatures for a shorter period of time were more effective in ending the virus' ability to replicate. “Heating protocol consisting of 92°C-15min [197 degrees Fahrenheit] was more effective rather than 56°C-30min and 60°C-60min to achieve 6-log reduction,” researchers wrote in the study's abstract.
The researchers performed the study in an attempt to aid the protocols already in place for scientists' safety around the planet, as they continue to look for treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19.
Currently, there is no known scientific cure for the disease known as COVID-19. However, there are several trials, including repurposed drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, currently underway.
According to the South China Morning Post, which first reported on the study, heating viruses in a lab setting have been used to kill viruses previously.
Although researchers were able to kill the virus after heating it to 198 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, the concern was that it could fragment its RNA, impacting testing.
“Since clinical samples collected in COVID-19 suspect patients are commonly manipulated in BSL-2 laboratories, the results presented in this study should help to choose the best suited protocol for inactivation in order to prevent exposure of laboratory personnel in charge of direct and indirect detection of SARS-CoV-2 for diagnostic purpose,” researchers added in the study.
Previous studies have shown that humidity in indoor environments could slow the spread of the virus.
As of Thursday morning, more than 2 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, including more than 639,000 of which are in the U.S., the most impacted country on the planet.
Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this story.