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There is little evidence of biological activity in the Dead Sea (a salt-water lake). In addition, human blood cells do not survive in too much salt water as they shrink and die.

So I wondered whether viruses survive in super-saturated salt water. If they survive what allows them to survive and tolerate the high salt concentration? If they do not survive, what is the mechanism of their destruction?

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  • $\begingroup$ since viruses may contain no water and are not undergoing metabolic process why do you think salt would affect them? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Apr 27, 2023 at 23:45

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This issue was studied in Virus inactivation by salt (NaCl) and phosphate supplemented salt in a 3D collagen matrix model for natural sausage casings International Journal of Food Microbiology Volume 148, Pages 128–134.

Saturated NaCl was tested on 4 types of virus, foot-and-mouth-disease virus (FMDV), classical swine fever virus (CSFV), swine vesicular disease virus (SVDV) and African swine fever virus (ASFV) at four different temperatures:4, 12, 20 and 25 °C for a period of 30 days.

For ASFV, but not the other 3 viruses, saturated NaCl had a significant effect of inactivating the virus, on a days timescale.

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