How Long Does The Coronavirus Last on Surfaces
The virus novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive for up to four weeks on surfaces such as banknotes and mobile phone screens, researchers have claimed.
And this indicates that the virus can remain infectious for significantly longer time periods than generally considered possible.
As the Australia’s national science agency CSIRO has disovered that the virus was “extremely robust” at 20°C, or room temperature, and survived for less time at hotter temperatures.
Although, it is not yet to be ascertain if the quantity of virus that survived is enough to cause COVID-19 infection.
So, the study entails drying virus in an artificial mucus on different surfaces, at concentrations similar to those reported in samples from infected patients and then re-isolating the virus over a month.
And the researchers discovered that COVID-19 survived better in colder temperatures. So, the study, undertaken at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) in Geelong, Victoria, measured the survival rates of infectious SARS-CoV-2, suspended in a standard ASTM E2197 matrix, on several common surface types.
Also, the study was done in the dark to negate any effects of UV light, as research has showed that direct sunlight can rapidly inactivate the virus.
And Dr Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness said that “Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular hand-washing and cleaning surfaces.”
“At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes.
Also, Dr Eagles said that “For context, similar experiments for Influenza A have found that it survived on surfaces for 17 days, which highlights just how resilient SARS-CoV-2 is.“While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas.”
Interestingly, the findings, published in Virology Journal, showed that the virus survives longer on smooth surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and vinyl, compared to porous surfaces such as cotton.
So, the researchers are of the opinion that these results, published in the Virology Journal, could help improve risk mitigation procedures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
How Can I Protect Myself From The Coronavirus When Shopping?
Most people are asking is it safe to go to grocery stores and other food markets during COVID-19?
There are signs in every local supermarket advising people to keep two metres from others while moving around the store which very is key in reducing your chances of catching the virus while shopping.
Because, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is spread through respiratory droplets that leave our mouth and nose when we cough, sneeze, or sometimes even talk.
And the droplets sprayed out by an infected person will contain the virus, which could then enter your body via your mouth, nose or eyes (this is why you shouldn’t be touching your face).
So, wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social is distancing is difficult.
But, respiratory droplets don’t normally travel more than one metre, so by keeping two metres from others, you’ll reduce the likelihood of being in the firing line.
And if you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk. If they do, try to shop during those hours.
Also, to make it easier to keep your distance, make sure to shop during off-peak hours, and choose a store that’s limiting the number of people who can be inside at any one time, and use self-checkout if you can.
And if you normally bring your own reusable shopping bags, ensure they are cleaned before each use. Also, some locations have temporarily banned the use of reusable shopping bags during the COVID-19 pandemic, so check your state, local, store or market policies before bringing reusable bags.
Also, keeping your hands clean is a good thing that you can do. And if possible, wipe the trolley or basket handles with a disinfectant wipe when you arrive at the store.
More importantly, when you get home, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after unpacking your bags.
And a US study has discovered that the coronavirus can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on hard, shiny surfaces such as plastic, so wiping down your purchases with a disinfectant spray or a soapy cloth before you put them away is another good habit to get into.