Studies find COVID-19 coronavirus can survive 28 days on some surfaces, 11 hours on skin

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, according to a study by Australia’s national science agency. Researchers at CSIRO’s disease preparedness centre tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter, the agency said Monday.

The scientists found that at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, SARS-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” on smooth surfaces — like cell phone and other touch screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel and plastic banknotes.

At 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the survival rate dropped to seven days and plunged to just 24 hours at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.


Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U…

01:37

The virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces such as cotton — up to 14 days at the lowest temperatures and less than 16 hours at the highest — the researchers said. This was “significantly longer” than previous studies which found the disease could survive for up to four days on non-porous surfaces, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed Virology Journal.

A separate piece of research published this week by Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan found the new coronavirus  is unusually durable on human skin, too, surviving for up to 11 hours. That compares to about two hours of expected longevity for the influenza A (flu) virus on skin. The Japanese researchers said this durability “may increase the risk of contact transmission… thus accelerating the pandemic.”

The authors said in their study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, that the findings underscore the importance of hand-washing and disinfecting. 

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said their study involved drying samples of the virus on different materials before testing them, using an “extremely sensitive” method that found traces of live virus able to infect cell cultures.

“This doesn’t mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

He added that if a person was “careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated.”

Critical for “risk mitigation”

Drew said there were several caveats including that the study was conducted with fixed levels of virus that likely represented the peak of a typical infection, and there was an absence of exposure to ultraviolet light, which can rapidly degrade the virus.

Humidity was kept steady at 50 percent, the study said, as increases in humidity have also been found as detrimental to the virus.

According to the CSIRO, the virus appears to primarily spread through the air but more research was needed to provide further insights into the transmission of the virus via surfaces.


CDC says COVID-19 is “sometimes” airborne

04:15

“While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and

COVID-19 virus can survive on some surfaces for nearly a month in lab conditions

The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive for nearly a month in cooler, dark conditions on some nonporous surfaces such as glass and money in controlled laboratory conditions, according to a study published Monday that notes that the primary source of spread still appears to be through airborne aerosols and droplets caused by talking, singing, breathing or laughing.

The study, completed by experts at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, and published in “Virology Journal,” found that the virus was detectable after 28 days on surfaces such as glass, stainless steel, paper and polymer banknotes in lab experiments at room temperature — 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

The authors of the study wrote that the findings are important because phones, ATMS and other high-touch surfaces may not be regularly cleaned and therefore pose risks for transmission.

The experts concluded that surface or “fomite” transmission could play some role in the spread of COVID-19, though the degree is unknown.

“While the primary spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be via aerosols and respiratory droplets, fomites may also be an important contributor in transmission of the virus,” the authors wrote.

The study also found the virus is less likely to survive in higher temperatures, a finding confirmed by other studies.

At 86 degrees, the virus was detectable on most of those surfaces for only seven days but it was detected for 21 days on paper notes.

At 104 degrees, the virus was not detected past 48 hours for all surfaces tested.

“Temperature and humidity are both critical factors in viral survivability with an increase in either being detrimental to virus survival,” the authors wrote.

Other experts noted that studies that look at how long the virus can stay on various surfaces are tightly controlled and do not mirror real-life conditions. For example, the experiments in the Australian study were completed in the dark to negate any effects of UV light, which can kill COVID-19.

Previous studies have found virus on surfaces but did not determine whether it was live or inactive virus.

The new study, which looked at virus culture, showed the virus can be detectable and cultured after several days or weeks, which is “disconcerting,” said Peter Katona, chairman of the Infection Control Working Group at UCLA.

But it doesn’t answer whether the virus is still transmissible, he added.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

“Now we know that they’re viable virus particles. And that’s definitely a help but it doesn’t tell you how much you need to be significant. … The fact that virus on stainless steel is culturable in 28 days, does that mean in 28 days it was still transmissible? That’s the key question and this study did not answer that,” he said.

He added he wouldn’t use the study to inform real-world policies yet, and there’s not enough data to determine what role surface transmission plays in COVID-19 spread.

“We don’t understand that very well at all. We don’t know how important that is. We don’t know

Study finds COVID-19 coronavirus can survive 28 days on some surfaces

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, according to a study by Australia’s national science agency. Researchers at CSIRO’s disease preparedness centre tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter, the agency said Monday.

The scientists found that at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, SARS-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” on smooth surfaces — like cell phone and other touch screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel and plastic banknotes.

At 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the survival rate dropped to seven days and plunged to just 24 hours at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.


Alarming spike of COVID-19 cases across the U…

01:37

The virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces such as cotton — up to 14 days at the lowest temperatures and less than 16 hours at the highest — the researchers said.

This was “significantly longer” than previous studies which found the disease could survive for up to four days on non-porous surfaces, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed Virology Journal.

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said the study involved drying samples of the virus on different materials before testing them, using an “extremely sensitive” method that found traces of live virus able to infect cell cultures.

“This doesn’t mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

He added that if a person was “careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated.”

Critical for “risk mitigation”

Drew said there were several caveats including that the study was conducted with fixed levels of virus that likely represented the peak of a typical infection, and there was an absence of exposure to ultraviolet light, which can rapidly degrade the virus.

Humidity was kept steady at 50 percent, the study said, as increases in humidity have also been found as detrimental to the virus.

According to the CSIRO, the virus appears to primarily spread through the air but more research was needed to provide further insights into the transmission of the virus via surfaces.


CDC says COVID-19 is “sometimes” airborne

04:15

“While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas,” CSIRO’s Debbie Eagles said.

The main message remains that “infectious people are far, far more infectious than surfaces”, Drew told the ABC.

“But nevertheless, it may help to explain why even when we got rid of the infectious people, we do occasionally get these breakouts again, sometimes even in a country which is considered to be free,” he

Coronavirus ‘can survive for 28 days on surfaces’: study

The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, according to a study by Australia’s national science agency.

Researchers at CSIRO’s disease preparedness centre tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter, the agency said Monday.

The scientists found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), SARS-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” on smooth surfaces — like mobile phone screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel and plastic banknotes.

At 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), the survival rate dropped to seven days and plunged to just 24 hours at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

The virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces such as cotton — up to 14 days at the lowest temperatures and less than 16 hours at the highest — the researchers said.

This was “significantly longer” than previous studies which found the disease could survive for up to four days on non-porous surfaces, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed Virology Journal.

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said the study involved drying samples of the virus on different materials before testing them, using an “extremely sensitive” method that found traces of live virus able to infect cell cultures.

“This doesn’t mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone,” he told public broadcaster ABC.

He added that if a person was “careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated”.

– People ‘far, far more infectious’ –

Drew said there were several caveats including that the study was conducted with fixed levels of virus that likely represented the peak of a typical infection, and there was an absence of exposure to ultraviolet light, which can rapidly degrade the virus.

Humidity was kept steady at 50 percent, the study said, as increases in humidity have also been found as detrimental to the virus.

According to the CSIRO, the virus appears to primarily spread through the air but more research was needed to provide further insights into the transmission of the virus via surfaces.

“While the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of surface contact and the amount of virus required for infection is yet to be determined, establishing how long this virus remains viable on surfaces is critical for developing risk mitigation strategies in high contact areas,” CSIRO’s Debbie Eagles said.

The main message remains that “infectious people are far, far more infectious than surfaces”, Drew told the ABC.

“But nevertheless, it may help to explain why even when we got rid of the infectious people, we do occasionally get these breakouts again, sometimes even in a country which is considered to be free,” he said.

hr/arb/qan

Source A