Coronavirus: the virus can survive up to 28 days on surfaces, a new study says

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 12 October 2020 at 09h12 · Updated on 12 October 2020 at 15h28
Research on the novel Coronavirus in order to learn more about its spread are still going on. According to a recent study carried out by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the virus is “extremely stable” on flat surfaces such as phone screens on bank bills, able to survive up to 28 days if it is in a cold and dark environment. Yet, the novel Coronavirus is less likely to survive on porous surfaces such as cotton.

This is an issue preoccupying many searchers: how long does the novel coronavirus survive on surfaces? According to a recent study released by Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), it depends on the type of surface coronavirus is on, as well as the environment in which it evolves.

Therefore, according to this study, SARS-CoV-2 is “extremely stable” on flat surfaces such as phone screens and bank bills. If the environment it lives is cool and dark, then the virus can survive up to 28 days on glass, steel and polymer bills.

Yet, searchers behind the study noticed that temperature had a determining role in the virus’s survival. Then, the hotter it gets, the lower the SARS-CoV-2’s survival rate. For instance, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, its survival rate drops to 7 days, and at 40°C, it only has 24 hours, scientists say.

The latter also shone that the virus could leave less longer on porous surfaces such as cotton, up to 14 days at the lowest temperature and less than 16 hours at the hottest.

Yet, Australian Center for Disease Preparedness director Trevor Drew has been trying to be reassuring. Even though the study enabled to find traces of living SARS-CoV-2 able to infect cell cultures, he wanted to reassure that: “This doesn't mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone”.

Yet, if someone was “careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated” he added.

He reminded that “infectious people are far, far more infectious than surfaces”. He also said this discovery “may help to explain why even when we got rid of the infectious people, we do occasionally get these breakouts again, sometimes even in a country which is considered to be free”.

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