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 It has come to my attention that there are large discrepancies among the public statements made regarding the length of time that Coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) remains infective upon residing on various surfaces. You mentioned the finding of about 3 hours on stainless steel at room temperature. Published data indicates that the virus at moderate temperature is not efficiently eliminated in infectivity until about 9 days. At 90oF the effective killing time is about 24 hours and at 100 oF it is about 7 hours, and at 132 oF survival is about 15 minutes [1].

This strongly suggests to me that one precaution that anyone could take who suspects is infected or is infected would be to breathe steam. This is a simple home treatment, breathing steam (approx. 170 oF) above a pot of boiling water (212 oF). This could be done daily to help minimize the effects of the infection, where recent studies indicate viral infectivity is lost at 167 oF for 30 minutes [2].


Second, since packages can arrive rather quickly from infected countries, and since asymptomatic people can transmit the virus which can last for so long on surfaces, one suggestion also would be that any mail from such infected countries could be not only sanitized on the outside but that the contents could  be opened about  a week after it arrives.

Third, since corona virus-2 is an RNA virus that depends on reverse transcriptase to replicate , if it were me I would ask my doctor if  I could be given a prescription for one of the drugs used that are FDA approved for treatment of the RNA-based AIDS virus. In the elderly who are most susceptible to the COVID-19 illness, one would think this could be something to seriously consider, not to cure the infection, but to slow its spread, allowing one to fight it.

You do not need to respond but I felt led to communicate this with you,

Thanks much,

Richard Sauerheber, Ph,D.

[1] Duan SM1, Zhao XS, Wen RF, Huang JJ, Pi GH, Zhang SX, Han J, Bi SL, Ruan L, Dong XP; SARS Research Team. Stability of SARS coronavirus in human specimens and environment and its sensitivity to heating and UV irradiation. Biomed Environ Sci. 2003 Sep;16(3):246-55 at:

[2] K. H. Chan,1 J. S. Malik Peiris,1 S. Y. Lam,1 L. L. M. Poon,1 K. Y. Yuen,1 and W. H. Seto1 The Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Viability of the SARS Coronavirus, 1Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, Advances in Virology, Volume 2011 Article ID 734690 at:

R. Sauerheber
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission Rd.
San Marcos, CA 92069
March 15,2009




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