COVID-19 study finds how long the virus lives on surfaces

Monday, October 12, 2020
COVID-19 study finds how long the virus lives on surfaces
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Researchers learned through a study that COVID-19 lasted longer on smooth surfaces than other studies had found.

A study published in Virology Journal focused on smooth surfaces like plastic, paper money and glass cell phone screens. It found the coronavirus lasted about a month and survived best at lower temperatures, specifically 68 degrees.

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It also lasted longer on smoother surfaces rather than complex surfaces like cotton.

The CDC reported there are no documented cases of surface transmission in the U.S., and the amount tested in the study was so small it's unlikely to cause infection.

"Another important factor is that we still don't know what an infectious dose is," said Shane Riddell, a scientist at The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. "So, even though we were able to recover the infectious virus up to 28 days, that may not be enough to actually cause an infection, but I think the key message really is to wash your hands where possible and sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant often."

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Researchers said the study reinforces the need to take the normal precautions we have been taking by wiping down surfaces and washing our hands often, especially as we head into the colder months.

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