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…

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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

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

One-third of Chinese city of 9 million swabbed for virus in two days

More than three million swabs have been taken in a matter of days in Qingdao, the Chinese port city where a minor coronavirus outbreak elicited a sweeping health response.

Queues for testing stretched deep into Monday night across the eastern city, which detected six virus cases the day before but swiftly swung into action to head off a wider outbreak.

In scenes which contrast with the fumbled efforts of other nations to establish effective testing regimes, Qingdao health workers in protective gear set up tents to take samples across neighbourhoods, where parents brought toddlers for testing.

Residents said on social media that community representatives informed them of their nearest testing stations, with local districts helping to organise sample collection for mass testing.

“As of 8 am… our city has taken 3.08 million samples for nucleic testing, with 1.11 million results received,” Qingdao’s health commission said in a statement Tuesday.

In addition to six people with symptoms, there six asymptomatic cases have been detected so far.

The city declared it aims to test its entire population — around 9.4 million — within five days of the detection of the first cases at a hospital on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how fast results could be processed, although China has paraded its rapid testing capacities during previous minor outbreaks.

China’s ruling Communist Party is desperate to show its ability to manage the pandemic to its citizens — as well as to foreign audiences — after it emerged in the central city of Wuhan.

The country has bounced back since the virus emerged late last year and forced widespread lockdowns that hammered the world’s second-largest economy.

China is also desperate to be the first nation to produce a coronavirus vaccine, with several companies in final-stage trials.

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Coronavirus can last 28 days on glass and currency, study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for frequent cleaning and handwashing.

FILE PHOTO: Commuters ride a train in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Findings from the study by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), the SARS-CoV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and the glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, the influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher, Shane Riddell.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the study built on previous experimental studies used to draw up its existing guidance on handwashing and disinfection of surfaces.

“The persistent detection of SARS-CoV-2 … in the experimental conditions from this study is not unexpected and informs our understanding of virus survivability,” April Baller, a WHO infection prevention and control expert, said in an emailed response to Reuters, adding that this would not change WHO recommendations at this time.

INFECTIOUS TRACES MEASURED

Paul Digard, a virology specialist at Britain’s Edinburgh University Roslin Institute, said it was significant that the researchers had measured infectious virus, not just detectable bits of virus, but added that it was also key to remember that the infectivity decays over time.

“So the amount of virus surviving at 28 days is very low and is therefore likely to be much less likely to infect someone than the higher amounts present when the virus is freshly deposited,” he said in an emailed comment.

The study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees Celsius showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light because research has shown that direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world, results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said, given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help to explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments such as meat-packing plants.

Additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London

Trump campaign manager returns to office 10 days after positive COVID-19 test

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDes Moines mayor says he’s worried about coronavirus spread at Trump rally Judiciary Committee Democrats pen second letter to DOJ over Barrett disclosures: ‘raises more questions that it answers’ Trump asks campaign to schedule daily events for him until election: report MORE‘s campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienTrump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining The Memo: Trump searches for path to comeback Bob Dole claims no Republicans on debate commission support Trump MORE resumed working at the campaign’s Virginia headquarters on Monday, 10 days after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Stepien told reporters on a conference call that he was back in the office after his recent positive test, “in full accordance with” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

The CDC guidelines say adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases can be around others 10 days after the onset of symptoms so long as they have gone 24 hours without a fever and other symptoms are improving. Severe cases require longer isolation periods. Public health experts have also encouraged individuals to obtain two negative tests before resuming regular activities.

Stepien, 42, tested positive on Oct. 2 and dealt with mild flu-like symptoms, the campaign said at the time. He went into quarantine and worked from home until Monday.

Stepien did not say on Monday’s call whether he had tested negative for the virus but cited being beyond the 10 day window from the onset of symptoms for his decision to return to the office.

“We take a lot of precautions here at the headquarters every single day,” Stepien said, pointing to signage about health protocols and noting that the campaign has a nurse on staff to ensure everyone is healthy.

Stepien’s decision to resume working in-person reflects the broader attitude of the president and his team toward the virus, which has killed more than 210,000 people in the U.S. and infected nearly 8 million.

Trump, who revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2, is set to resume campaign rallies on Monday night in Florida despite the White House refusing to say when he last tested negative, and some top White House officials, such as chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsAdministration officials call on Congress to immediately pass bill to spend unused PPP funds Trump claims he is ‘immune’ from coronavirus, defends federal response Senate Republicans rip new White House coronavirus proposal MORE, have continued to work from the building despite being in close contact with the president, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and others who have tested positive. 

The president’s physician said late Saturday that Trump is no longer a risk to spread the virus but stopped short of saying he had tested negative.

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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 last 28 days on glass, currency, study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for frequent cleaning and handwashing.

Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment, the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and the glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, the influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher, Shane Riddell.

Paul Digard, a virology specialist at Britain’s Edinburgh University Roslin Institute, said it was significant that the researchers had measured infectious virus, not just detectable bits of virus, but added it was also key to remember that the virus’ infectivity decays over time.

“So the amount of virus surviving at 28 days is very low and is therefore likely to be much less likely to infect someone than the higher amounts present when the virus is freshly deposited,” he said in an emailed comment.

The study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton, and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light, as research has shown direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments like meat-packing facilities.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

Additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London, editing by Stephen Coates and Giles Elgood

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Qingdao to test nine million for coronavirus in five days

The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days.

The mass testing comes after a dozen cases were found linked back to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from overseas.

In May, China tested the entire city of Wuhan – home to 11 million people and the epicentre of the global pandemic.

The country has largely brought the virus under control.

That’s in stark contrast to other parts of the world where there are still high case numbers and lockdown restrictions of varying severity.

In a statement posted to Chinese social media site Weibo, Qingdao’s Municipal Health Commission said six new cases and six asymptomatic cases had been discovered.

All the cases were linked to the same hospital, said the Global Times.

The Chinese authorities now have a strategy of mass testing even when a new coronavirus cluster appears to be relatively minor, correspondents said.

City-wide testing

The commission added that a citywide testing program had been launched, with five districts to be tested within three days – and the whole city to be tested within five days.

Some 114,862 people – including medical staff and newly hospitalised patients in the city’s hospitals – have already tested negative for the coronavirus, it said.

Videos circulating online showed local residents lining up late on Sunday to get tested, said the Global Times, adding that some of these test points were open from 07:00 to 23:00.

The new cases come a week after China’s Golden Week holiday – which saw millions travel across the country.

A Global Times report quoting the Qingdao Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism said the city had received 4.47 million passenger trips over this period.

The nearby city of Jinan, which is also in the same province as Qingdao, called for anyone who had visited the city since 23 September to get tested for the virus, according to a report by The Paper.

Earlier last month, Qingdao announced that two port workers in the city who handled imported seafood had tested positive for the virus. However, they were not known to have infected anyone else.

Daily coronavirus infections have fallen drastically in China, and for the most part the country appears to have recovered from the worst of the virus.

China currently has 85,578 virus cases and the death toll stands at 4,634.

Earlier this year, China completed a mass testing programme in Wuhan saying 11 million people had been tested in 10 days.

However, the BBC’s Reality Check later estimated that the figure was closer to 9 million over 10 days – still a significant number of people.

Hundreds of testing centres were opened, with thousands of testing staff involved.

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Novel coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, Australian study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.

FILE PHOTO: Commuters ride a train in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, Influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher Shane Riddell.

The study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton, and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

“So heading into summer that’s certainly going to be an important factor that the virus won’t last as long in the warmer temperatures,” Riddell said, referring to the upcoming southern hemisphere summer.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light, as research has shown direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments like meat-packing facilities.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with a total of about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported six new cases on Monday, five of whom were returned travelers in quarantine.

Reporting by Sonali Paul and Stefica Nicol Bikes; Editing by Stephen Coates

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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

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Trump works from Oval Office six days after COVID-19 diagnosis

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE worked from the Oval Office on Wednesday, less than a week after his coronavirus diagnosis, as his doctor said he was feeling “great” and experiencing no symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that coronavirus patients self-isolate for at least 10 days after the onset of their symptoms. Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and spent three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Facility receiving care over the weekend, returning to the White House on Monday evening. 

A White House spokesman said Trump is being briefed on stimulus talks and Hurricane Delta. A Marine stood outside the entrance to the West Wing, a sign that the president is at work inside.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he had spoken with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) about the hurricane, and shared local Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance for individuals to prepare for the storm.

“Please heed the directions of your State and Local Officials. We are working with them very closely — please be prepared, be careful, and be safe!” Trump tweeted.

 

In working from the Oval Office, Trump may be increasing the risk that others in the West Wing catch the virus. It was not clear who was briefing Trump on Wednesday afternoon. 

A growing number of individuals working in the White House or connected to Trump’s campaign or who otherwise have recently attended White House events have tested positive for the virus over the past week.  

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsFormer GOP chair Michael Steele calls Trump ‘the superspreader’ in the White House Murkowski after Trump halts talks: Congress must move on virus package Overnight Health Care: Trump calls off coronavirus relief talks MORE said earlier Wednesday that Trump had wanted to work from the Oval Office on Tuesday — one day after he returned from the hospital — and the White House was instituting safety protocols in order to ensure that it is safe. Trump has otherwise been working out of the residence, where he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpDemocratic Rep. Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19 Biden: ‘We shouldn’t have’ second debate if Trump still has COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Top military officers quarantine after positive COVID case | Distracted pilot,