The world is battling with the spread of Coronavirus and there are a lot of speculations about the life of this deadly virus on various surfaces. A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, can have new implications on how this disease is transmitted & medical workers, suggesting that Coronavirus can stay viable in air for up to 3 hours.
Though the World Health Organization denies that coronavirus can be transported by air. the study explains that when the virus comes in contact with aerosols- droplets less than 5micrometer- it can stay in the air till half an hour before landing onto other surfaces where it can have different length of survival. While the experiments conducted for this study presented a controlled environment, the scientists suggest that the virus could stay in the air for up to 3 hours. Covering several other surfaces, the study suggests that the Coronavirus can live up to 3 days or 72 hours on steel and plastic surfaces, up to 4 hours on copper and up to 24 hours on cardboard. If this virus bears similarity to SARS, it may be able to survive on glass or metal even longer for up to 9 days.
The ability to stay on various surfaces suggests that anything around you- the grocery store cash counter, the plastic carry bags, the delivered cardboard box- anything can have the virus on them. What is of significant importance in this study is that the ability of the virus to infect dropped with time, so the longer it stays on a surface the weaker it becomes and lesser the chances of a human getting infected. Medical professionals are a higher risk of getting infected through the airborne quality of the virus as they are often near the infected patients and the droplets with the virus can get attached to their gear causing it to spread and putting them at risk when they take off the gear.
Giving some relief, the authors of the study suggested that Coronavirus doesn’t remain active for long duration in temperatures above 30 degrees and can be easily erased with household disinfectants. Therefore, clean surfaces as much as possible and if a person is infected in your house, isolate them and ask them to clean the surfaces around them if possible.