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Temperature and light determine how long the coronavirus lives on the surface

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Researchers say the new coronavirus can survive for weeks in cold and dark environments.Cavan Images / Getty Images
  • Researchers say the new coronavirus can live on the surface for up to 28 days in a cool, dark environment.
  • In another study, researchers said the virus could live on human skin for up to nine days.
  • According to experts, these studies emphasize the need for people to wash their hands and clean the surface.

Cool temperatures, limited light, and a comfortable surface may make you feel like the home of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

the study SARS-CoV-2 can survive for 28 days on surfaces such as plastic, glass, steel, vinyl and even paper, according to the Australian National Scientific Institution CSIRO’s announcement in the Virology Journal.

A Second study Published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in early October, the virus can live on human skin for up to 9 hours.

However, there are two caveats. The first study was done entirely in the dark, and the second study found that hand sanitizers or soap and water killed the virus on the skin.

Still, epidemiologists say they are amazed at how long the virus has remained robust and active in each study.

Influenza virus, in comparison, persists on the surface 17th And about 2 hours on the skin.

“fact [the novel coronavirus] You can survive on surfaces that have long been proven to be dangerous. ” Thomas A. LavaistA PhD in Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University, Louisiana, told Healthline. “28 days is a long period.”

Trevor DrewThe PhD, director of the Australian Center for Disease Preparation and lead author of the first study, told Healthline that the long survival of the virus surprised his team.

“I was certainly a little surprised at how long the virus survived at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit),” Drew said.

“Other coronaviruses, such as PED, have shown that the virus can survive at ambient temperatures for long periods of time, but previous studies of SARS CoV-2 have shown that it has a short survival time,” he said. Added.

A closer look at temperature changes in the study, Drew said, found that as temperatures rise, the virus loses its power and dies faster.

They placed the virus on a surface at 20, 30, and 40 degrees Celsius and checked its efficacy.

For example, “depending on the material, we conclude that a temperature change between 12 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius achieves a 10-fold change in the reduction time of the decimals,” he said.

As an example, he said that at an internal temperature of 6 ° C, the virus attached to the stainless steel door handles of a slaughterhouse (slaughterhouse) could last 10 times longer than 20 ° C.

“The effects of temperature are likely to be seen in viral aerosols,” Drew added. “The virus will survive longer in cold air than in warm air in the absence of UV light.”

The study found that the virus survived the longest on surfaces such as plastic and steel, slightly less on paper, and significantly less on soft cotton surfaces.

A second study conducted by Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan reported that the new coronavirus continued to infect the skin for nine hours.

“This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 may be at high risk of contact infection. [i.e. transmission from direct contact] From IAV [influenza A virus] Because the first one is much more stable on human skin [than the latter]”The researchers wrote.

What can the public do with this new information?

“These findings support the hypothesis that proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” a researcher in Kyoto wrote.

According to LaVeist, this result is a phrase that encourages the public to “double” everything they do to fight the virus epidemic.

“It doesn’t change what we have to do,” he said. “It may just change frequency and intensity.”

LaVeist said restaurants, public places, and people at home should also consider regular and aggressive surface cleaning, while keeping hands, masking, and physical distance.

“We have to start thinking about this right away,” he said. “Tables, classroom surfaces. We should have already done this, but this reaffirms the need.”

Experts say that the main way the virus spreads is Aerial splash..

However World Health Organization It is also said that if someone touches something with water drops and then touches the face or mouth, it may spread.

Drew agreed.

“This study emphasizes the continued importance of washing hands with hand sanitizers / wipes in public,” he said. “As much as possible, avoid touching general surfaces and do not put your fingers in your mouth or rub your eyes.”

And Past research Did you conclude that the virus lasts only a few hours on the surface?

LaVeist said the public needs to understand that this is the mechanism of research science.

“This is making sausages in public,” he said. “”[Researchers] We are always looking for something that we can disprove as a fact. “

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