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How Long COVID-19 Lasts On Surfaces

SARS-Cov-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes and phone screens for up to 28 days, researchers at Australia’s national science agency have found.
15 Oct 2020 10:15
How Long COVID-19 Lasts On Surfaces

SARS-Cov-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes and phone screens for up to 28 days, researchers at Australia’s national science agency have found.

CSIRO researchers said that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) the virus was “extremely robust” and remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in the “Virology Journal” and could explain why the rate of infectiousness is difficult to combat.

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

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 researchers said that on cloth at 20 degrees they were unable to detect any viable virus beyond 14 days. At 30 degrees, the virus’ viability fell to just three days on cotton, compared with seven days for steel and smoother surfaces. Viability dropped further at 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

However, the experiment was conducted under laboratory conditions with no exposure to ultraviolet light and humidity kept steady at 50 percent. UV light has already been shown to kill 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.

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