Covid virus ‘survives for 28 days’ in lab conditions

Covid virus ‘survives for 28 days’ in lab conditions
These results highlight the need to wash hands as well as touchscreens regularly. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Researchers say the Covid virus responsible for Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces such as phone screens, stainless steel and banknotes for 28 days, researchers say.

The findings from Australia’s national science agency suggest SARS-Cov-2 can survive for far longer than it was thought previously.

However the experiment was conducted in the dark environment and UV light has already been shown to kill the virus.

Some experts have also expressed their doubts on the actual threat posed by surface transmission in real life.

The Covid virus is mostly transmitted when people cough, talk or sneeze.

But there is also evidence that the virus can also be spread by particles hanging in the air. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, it is also possible someone could get Covid-19 by touching infected surfaces such as plastic or metal. However, this is believed to be much less common.

What does the study say?

Previous laboratory tests have found that SARS-Cov-2 can survive for two to three days on glass and bank notes and up to six days on stainless steel and plastic, although results vary.

However, Australian agency CSIRO’s researchers found the virus was “extremely robust,” surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as both plastic and paper banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens, when kept at 20C (68F), which is about room temperature, and in the dark.

The flu virus, in comparison, can survive in the same circumstances for 17 days.

The study is published in Virology Journal. It also found SARS-Cov-2 survived for less time at hotter temperatures than cooler temperatures; the virus stopped being infectious within 24 hours at 40C on some surfaces.

It also stayed longer on smooth, non-porous surfaces than on porous materials such as cloth, which was found not to carry any infectious virus past 14 days.

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