Can Corona be transferred through sweat?

Is corona infection possible in the sauna, and what rules should you follow? Sauna is possible – if you are careful.
Can Covid 19 be transferred via body sweat in the sauna?

Can Covid-19 be transmitted via body sweat in the sauna?

The fear of infection with the Covid-19 virus remains topical. The pandemic has forced us worldwide to learn and adhere to strict hygiene measures, rules of conduct and distance. We know about the danger of aerosols and droplets contaminating our air. Many people ask themselves the question: What about the body’s own sweat? Is it also highly contagious? Some experts still disagree on a clear answer. Epidemiologist Timo Ulrichs of the Akkon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin gives the all-clear for sauna fans after his assessment of the dangerous Coronavirus.

Autumn time is Sauna time

Especially in autumn, the human body can prevent many diseases through the health-promoting effect of a sauna. The symptoms of a flu-like infection or a real flu are weakened or even prevented. Of course, it is reasonable to assume that the defense-increasing effect of the sauna can also provide relief from the spread of viral diseases.

Confirmed are meanwhile realizations, according to which the virus settles first into the nose and throat area. It is quite conceivable that with every breath taken in a hot sauna, any viruses present in the upper respiratory tract are weakened. With strict conditions, the sauna operators started again. The permitted number of visitors to German saunas is limited, but a beneficial sauna visit is possible again for many.

Take precautions

Scientific studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 viruses, to which the Coronavirus belongs, generally prefer cooler temperatures. But this does not guarantee that it will spread in a sauna. Even at very high temperatures, according to Timo Ulrichs, transmission is more difficult, but the virus is not automatically killed by heat. Because of this uncertainty, most public saunas currently do not use an infusion.

Many saunas are currently heated to at least 80 degrees to make it difficult for the virus to spread. Otherwise, resourceful sauna operators come up with tricks to prevent overcrowding in individual saunas. For example, stickers on the floor in front of the sauna, where the bathing shoes are placed, indicating whether all the permitted places in the sauna are occupied.

There is a residual risk

From a medical point of view, a regular visit to the sauna is a good prevention against infection with corona. The strong heat effect and the subsequent cooling down basically have an undisputed positive effect on our immune system. If possible, the recommended minimum distance should also be maintained in the sauna. However, according to current knowledge, the all-clear is given for transmission through sweat.

The Coronavirus is transmitted by aerosols and droplets that can escape from the lungs and throat. Sweat, however, is produced and secreted in the sweat glands of the skin. Nevertheless, any infected aerosols that may be present in steam baths, for example, last much longer. Steam baths are therefore currently still closed in many places.

What happens to sweat in the pool?

People who go to the sauna usually enjoy a dip or a cool-down in the pool between sauna sessions. The uncertainty is great, and so is the fear of being infected with Corona. Theoretically, infection is possible in the swimming pool, but not through the water. This is because the water is normally enriched with chlorine and is therefore considered harmless. Additional purification functions of the baths ensure absolutely uncontaminated water.

Accordingly, natural bathing ponds are not a good alternative as a cooling option. It is obvious that many microorganisms can survive here, although the mass of water in relation to few visitors probably makes infection unlikely here as well. Timo Ulrichs urges people to wear mouth and nose protection on the way to the showers, toilets and in the corridors, of course. A general caution and the observance of the hygiene regulations are to be kept also with the Saunieren absolutely.

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