How Long Coronavirus Lasts On Surfaces?- Study Finds

How Long Coronavirus Lasts On Surfaces?- Study Finds
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the coronavirus has spread, so has our fear of surfaces. People are getting increasingly worried about getting exposed to viruses as they follow their daily routine around the world- people trying to open doors with their elbows, refrain from touching the buttons in an elevator, office workers rubbing down their desks each morning. Experts deny the likelihood of getting infected this way, and say that social-distancing and WHO-recommended hygiene measures are the best possible ways to keep away from infection.

One aspect that has been unclear is how long COVID-19 viruses last outside the human body. Vincent Munster, chief of Virus Ecology of Rocky Mountain Laboratories in the US, is studying the properties of the coronavirus, both outside and inside the human body and his studies found viruses can remain communicable or “Functional” on certain surfaces like upto 24 hrs on cardboard, 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.

Also, viruses do not spread as aerosol particles, except in the case of certain hospital treatment that can aerosolize the virus that remains communicable or “Functional”.

But contracting Covid-19 from surfaces is rare as the study suggests and the most common way the virus spreads is

  • Through droplets discharge when someone coughs or sneezes, also that can travel upto six feet

  • It is possible to catch a virus by coming in contact with the surface that is contaminated on which someone has sneezed or coughed, the virus is likely to cause an infection in the first 10 mins to one or two hours after the sneeze.

  • Viruses need host organism to survive and most of them degrade in minutes or hours outside a host, decreasing the number of infectious particles quickly overtime

  • It is necessary to disinfect the frequently used surfaces and wash hands regularly 

  • Experts say touching virus infected surfaces is not the major way of catching COVID-19, person-to-person contact remains the primary way of getting infected

  • Large viral loads which require considerable exposure to the virus, causes infection. Experts say tens of thousands of virus particles are needed to break down the immune system and can cause infection

On clothing and other surfaces its harder to disinfect, it is not yet clear how long the virus can survive. Although they still do test it on clothing, the absorbent natural fibres may cause the virus to dry up quickly. Moreover, it takes you around 14 days to show up the symptoms, though there have been cases of the virus spreading through pre-symptomatic people.

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