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Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News medical contributor, said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he has “serious concerns” about a new study that noted that the coronavirus is not as resistant to high temperatures as previously believed.
“I think it’s deeply flawed,” Siegel said.
The research, which was published in the bioRxiv repository and has not been peer-reviewed, notes that researchers from France infected African green monkey kidney cells with COVID-19, placing the cells in a “dirty” environment and a “clean”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.
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On Monday Siegel laid out his reasons for thinking the new study is “deeply flawed.”
“First of all, it hasn’t been published yet,” Siegel said. “Secondly, it looked at the amount of virus you would never see, you or me would never see if we were infected.
“Thirdly, it compared itself to the SARS virus from 2003 and said that it was similar,” he went on to say. “Guess what? The virus from 2003 was very well studied and found to be killed by heat, by ultraviolet light and by humidity.”
Siegel noted that the Department of Homeland Security has said that COVID-19 cells “are killed by humidity, heat, and by UV light, ultraviolet light.”
“Those factors lead you to believe that this could be seasonal, that as it gets hot and warm and humid this virus could start to die,” he explained.
He added that National Institutes of Health infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield, both members of the White House coronavirus task force, told him last week that it appears that COVID-19 could be seasonal.
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“I don’t really believe the findings of this study and I don’t think it should be touted out there,” Siegel said. “I think we need further investigation on this, but we don’t have reason to believe this is the case.”
Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this report.