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Oct 12, 2020
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Coronavirus can survive up to 4 weeks on some surfaces – new study

Scientists don't know exactly how often people become infected after contact with contaminated surfaces. But they believe hand washing reduces the risk of infection.

Scientists from the Australian national science agency CSIRO have found that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can survive for up to four weeks on some surfaces that everyone comes into contact with. Their new data is published in Journal of Virology...

The authors report that the virus persists better on smooth surfaces (glass, vinyl, steel) than on porous surfaces (fabric). Coronavirus survives better on paper bills than on plastic ones, it prefers a low temperature.

The virus survived best at room temperature (20 degrees Celsius) on smooth surfaces such as glass, including a smartphone screen. With increasing temperatures, the virus survived worse.

The experiments were carried out in dark rooms, that is, the conditions did not fully correspond to real life: they excluded the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation on the virus. The effect of ultraviolet radiation on coronavirus has been shown earlier.

“Due to the effects of ultraviolet light, it is probably safer outdoors than in buildings, outside the virus can be inactivated by sunlight,” Professor Peter Collignon told The Guardian.

Scientists believe that the main route of transmission is airborne, not contact.

“I think 90% of transmission is due to close contact with sick people who cough and sneeze or otherwise release infected droplets. Probably about 10% of infections are related to hands and surfaces, ”Collington said. Despite this, he added, washing your hands before touching your face is a good idea.

According to the authors, although the exact role of the virus on surfaces in the spread of disease is unknown and still needs to be clarified, data on the survival of the virus are needed to develop preventive measures.

Previous studies showed that on glass and plastic, the concentration of coronavirus decreases 10 times in 4 days, and on banknotes during this time it completely disappears.

Recently, Japanese scientists have found that SARS-CoV-2 remains active on hands for 9 hours. What role this plays in the spread of infection is also not fully established.


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