March 16, 2021
Research conducted by professors from Gunma University has found that the waters of the Yubatake source at Kusatsu Onsen (hot spring) can reduce the infectivity of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) by up to 99 percent, a figure comparable with hand sanitizers. Essentially, the water acts like a natural hand sanitzer, with less drying effect on the skin.
In response to the study, the town has set up a hand-washing station next to Yubatake for visitors to benefit from the properties of the water.
The inactivation rate was notably higher with water from Yubatake (pH2) than sulfuric acid solution at the same pH, indicating the contribution of other components in the water. The team’s research into these findings is ongoing.