Coronavirus has already claimed more than 2,500 lives in China alone and it continues to spread in other countries as well. Amidst all of this, concerns are growing about how long the virus may linger or survive on different surfaces.
According to the CNN, the virus is so deadly that according to CNN the concerns have grown to such an extent that China’s central bank has decided to destroy a large batch of its currency notes as they change hands multiple times in a day.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are commonly found among animals and can be transmitted from animals to human beings. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses spread mostly through respiratory droplets like sneeze or cough and have poor sustainability on surfaces.
CDC’s website says:
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads
According to the CDC, flu viruses can live on certain specific surfaces for about 48 hours and can potentially infect people if the surface remains disinfected. On the other hand, according to research published in the – Journal of Hospital Infection, human coronaviruses like the SARS and the MERS can live on inanimate surfaces for as long as a period of nine days.
According to a research cited by CNN, cleaning surfaces with common disinfecting products with about 62 -71% of ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% of sodium hypochlorite or bleach can inactivate class of human coronaviruses within a minute. The research was conducted by analysing 22 previously published studies on the coronavirus.
CNN quoted an infectious disease professor at the University of California Dr Charles Chiu as saying:
“Based on the currently available data, I would primarily rely on the data from SARS coronavirus, which is the closest relative to the novel coronavirus—with 80% sequence similarity—among the coronaviruses tested. For SARS coronavirus, the range of persistence on surfaces was less than five minutes to nine days.”
“However, it is very difficult to extrapolate these findings to the novel coronavirus due to the different strains, viral titers and environmental conditions that were tested in the various studies and the lack of data on the novel coronavirus itself,” he added.
“More research using cultures of the novel coronavirus is needed to establish the duration that it can survive on surfaces,” he concluded.