No, hot yoga will not kill the coronavirus: BC health officials

Mar 20 2020, 11:39 am

After some residents in Metro Vancouver received a letter from a local yoga studio claiming COVID-19 cannot survive in heat, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry took to the podium to quickly quash those rumours..

“I think [that idea] probably comes from some of the science that gets misinterpreted,” she said on Thursday. “Yoga studios are a place where people are sweating in close quarters with one another and that is a perfect environment to spread this virus.”

Henry said the idea that hot environments are an effective measure against coronavirus is “probably a misinterpretation of the fact that respiratory viruses like influenza tend to fade away when it gets warmer in the year and we have increased amount of ultraviolet light during the spring and summertime.”

Henry said the virus “may wane away if we’re lucky over the next few weeks because we know that some of these other respiratory viruses do that and they’re sensitive to the heat and our environment and to ultraviolet light, but that’s not in room or in an enclosed environment.”

And while UV light “does work for some bacteria and some viruses in the healthcare setting, it’s very intense UV light for many hours.”

Henry’s response comes after clients of Bikram Yoga studio in Delta received a letter telling them that “this supposed virus cannot survive in heat.”

The letter went on to say that “Bikram Hot Yoga is the best way to keep your immune system healthy and/or best way to build and improve you immune system to flight flu’s (sic) colds, bacteria, and viruses.”

With coronavirus on the rise, BC public health authorities are reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.