By Dr. Afzaal -VDS™ Chief Biomedical Staff Writer.
Copyright ©2020 VDS – Virus Disinfecting Services™
Many research studies were conducted ever since WHO declared the spread of coronavirus as a pandemic. Many of these studies focus on the duration that the virus survives on a variety of surfaces. According to scientists, the maximum number of days that the virus can stay active was five (5) days.
However, new research adds a question mark to the old ones. The latest research states that the virus can survive for up to twenty-eight (28) days on surfaces. Let us look into a few points about this research and see what safety precautions we can learn from this.
About the research
This research is from a team of scientists who belong to the Australian Centre for disease preparedness (ACDP) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO), which is the national science agency that backs this research.
COVID-19 remains on the surface for 28 days
The Australian research team states that COVID-19 can remain active on surfaces for twenty-eight days. This statement is valid for the following surfaces.
- Glass surfaces, such as desks, tables and mobile phones
- Stainless steel surfaces
- Vinyl surfaces
- Semi-porous surfaces such as paper, banknotes and cheques
The survival of the virus depends on temperature
The novel coronavirus can survive for a longer time in cold temperatures, which means that the virus can die faster during the summers due to warmer climates.
The survival of the virus also depends on the material of the surface
The virus can also remain for a longer duration on paper notes. Plastic notes or credit cards do not allow the virus to stay on for longer. Paper notes contain cotton or paper, which are more porous in comparison with plastic.
90% transmission via droplets & 10% via contact
The scientist says that the transmission occurs mostly by droplets. There is a higher chance of catching infection by coughing or sneezing than shaking hands.
Regardless of this, the practice of washing hands is still critical as it helps to reduce the 10% chance of transmission because of a handshake.
The coronavirus lives longer than Influenza Virus
The influenza virus is a type of virus that scientists already know a lot about. This is commonly known as the flu. It was also the cause of the Spanish flu of 1918, caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. However, scientists believe that coronavirus lives longer than the influenza virus on surfaces.
What can we learn from such research?
Such research helps us to learn about the nature of the new virus. For example, the activeness of the virus on different surfaces also depends on the temperature. At 20 degrees centigrade, the virus can survive for twenty-eight days.
These surfaces include the mobile phones that we use. Hence, mobile phones can also become a significant source of transmission in today’s modern world. As the temperature increases, the survival time of the virus also decreases.
The current reopening of lock downs is allowing social interaction, which can increase the chances of the coronavirus spread. This virus can find its hidden spot in public areas, work places, shopping centers, and other environments, making it essential for these places to be properly sanitized and disinfected.
Such research will help in the development of strategies to reduce the risk of infection. Till then, we must continue the practice of regular hand washing and sanitizing of places where the chances of infection are prevalent because we have yet to know the amount of virus that causes the infection.
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