Coronavirus May Live up to 9 Days on Surfaces, New Study Finds

It turns out the coronavirus can be caught from touching infected surfaces too.
Fabienne Lang
The photo credit line may appear like thisvchal/iStock

A new study has discovered that the coronavirus, also called Covid-19, may live up to nine days on inanimate objects and surfaces, further exacerbating the high and fast infection rate.

Studying similar members of the coronavirus family, scientists predicted that the coronavirus can also survive on these objects.

The study was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection.

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It's still currently unclear whether the coronavirus remains on surfaces

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it's still "currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes." 

Unfortunately, at this stage there's still a lot of unknown information surrounding the coronavirus, so researchers are turning to strains of the same family, SARS and MERS, to try and gather as much information as possible. 

In studying the 22 studies on these viruses, scientists discovered that human pathogens can live on surfaces and objects, remaining infectious at room temperature for up to nine days

As a comparison, the measles virus can only live on infectious surfaces for two hours

Nine days is the maximum amount of time that a coronavirus can withstand on an infected surface, but that's still a decent amount of time for many people to touch the surface, and contract the virus. 

On average, the researchers mention that the virus lives around four to five days on surfaces such as wood, paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass. 

Even more worryingly, some of the veterinary coronaviruses, which can only infect animals, can last up to 28 days

As physician Günter Kampf from Greifswald University Hospital said "Low temperature and high air humidity further increase their lifespan."

The authors of the study suggest that hospitals disinfect all surfaces regularly and carefully with a number of solutions such as hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, and ethanol.  

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