New Study Suggests COVID-19 has Longer Lifespan
A new study has revealed that the coronavirus can live on smooth surfaces such as phones for up to 28 days.
Researchers from Australia’s national science agency reported the virus has the capacity to remain active under “controlled temperature and humidity conditions.”
Some of the findings in the study include:
- The coronavirus can survive on cotton and other porous materials for around 14 days
- The virus can survive on smooth surfaces like smartphones, paper money, and brushed stainless steel for up to 28 days under the right conditions
- The increased temperature at the same humidity drastically reduces the survivability of the virus to as little as 24 h at 40 °C
The flu virus is known to survive for 17 days under the same conditions, which suggests that COVID-19 is far more robust than other viruses.
According to the study, “these findings demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious for significantly longer time periods than generally considered possible.”
The Significance of the Study
The findings emphasize the importance of regular surface cleaning and washing hands. However, it is essential to consider that the experiment involved unrealistic conditions.
For example, the researchers subjected smartphone screens and other surfaces to constant 68° F temperatures, and the surfaces were kept in the dark to prevent any effects from UV light. Additionally, the study did not use fresh mucous — which contains white cells and antibodies.
Cardiff University professor Ron Eccles shared that “In my opinion infectious viruses will only persist for hours in mucus on surfaces rather than days.”
Even so, researchers find it crucial to determine the virus’s survivability and viability on a range of surfaces to develop “risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas.”
Deputy Director of Director of Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness and lead researcher Dr. Debbie Eagles stated that “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.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory transmissions, such as coughing or sneezing, as well as in enclosed spaces where there are “activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads.”
You can access the study here.
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