COVID-19 can last 28 days on surfaces, study finds
Experts know that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive for days on some surfaces. However, a new study found that, given the right conditions, it can remain infectious for 28 days.
That's much longer than the flu virus, which can last up to 17 days.
The study was published on Monday (October 12) by the Australian National Science Agency. Researchers found the virus persisted on phone screens, paper money, and stainless steel.
They say it shows how critical cleaning and hand washing are in fighting the pandemic.
Shane Riddell is the lead researcher on the study.
"We still don't know what an infectious dose is. While we've been able to restore infectious viruses for up to 28 days, that may not be enough to actually cause infection, but I think the key message is really Wash hands where possible and disinfect your hands frequently with an alcohol-based disinfectant. "
One caveat: the experiment was carried out entirely in the dark without UV light. Direct sunlight has been shown to break down the virus.
It also survived the longest at around room temperature, rather than hot heat.
And the study found that proteins and fats in body fluids help the virus last longer.
Given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also greatly extend the survival times of viruses, her study could help explain the persistence and spread of COVID-19 in meat processing plants around the world.
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