A new study confirms that surface disinfection is another important strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of California, Los Angeles, and Princeton, New Jersey, evaluated how long the new coronavirus survives on various materials.
The work, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), indicates that the virus can live on different materials. Here are the main ones:
PLASTIC AND STAINLESS STEEL
Virus survives for around 2 to 3 days on these surfaces. Door handles, elevator buttons, public transport rails and plastic packagins are among many plastic and steel surfaces we touch on daily basis.
Up to 4 hours. Pennies, cookware.
Up to 24 hours. Wash your hands after handling takeaway and delivery boxes.
Up to 5 days. Glassware, windows, mirrors.
The results of this research provide key information about the stability of the virus and also about how people can become infected from the air and from touching contaminated objects.
Scientists compared this coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, with the previous one, SARS-CoV-1, which causes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which also emerged in China and infected more than 8,000 people between 2002 and 2003. It was controlled by closely monitoring the infections and isolating them, and no more cases were detected since 2004.
New studies show that the two viruses have similar characteristics but SARS-CoV-2, which causes the infectious disease COVID-19, is more stable on surfaces and this contributes to its spread.
Therefore, in addition to hand washing, sneezing into the crease of the elbow and avoiding touching one's face, disinfecting everyday surfaces is an important form of prevention that should be adopted.
Experts explain that SARS-CoV-2 is surrounded by a protein structure formed by lipids that is sensitive to alcohol, so this element disorganizes it and prevents infection.
It is recommended to use 60% or 70% alcohol as a disinfectant, because in this percentage of dilution the penetration capacity of alcohol is higher. Bleach is another useful product against the new coronavirus.