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Coronavirus Survives On Skin For 9 Hours; Frequent Hand Washing Is Key To Combat Pandemic

The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, thus accelerating the pandemic.


In a breakthrough discovery, the Japanese researchers have found that the SARS-coV-2 can remain active on human skin for at least nine hours, and hence the handwashing was key to avoid contracting the COVID-19 disease. In a study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, scientists used a model for clinical studies of pathogens’ survivability on human skin and elucidated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on the human skin.

According to the research, the scientists studied the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV) on upper respiratory mucus, and as well as on the human skin surface. While the dermal disinfection effectiveness was up to 80 percent with the use of ethanol, scientists in a shocking discovery noted that the strain lived up to 9 nine hours. However, this time frame, compared to other objects showed that the virus was inactivated more rapidly on skin surfaces as compared to stainless steel, glass objects, or plastic, where it remained alive significantly longer.

“SARS-CoV-2 showed similar stability in the mucus,” the research indicated.

9-h survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, the scientists after the clinical research concluded. Further, they added that proper hand hygiene, thus, was extremely important to kill SARS-CoV-2 from the skin that could lead to transmission easily with human contact or touching the surfaces. 

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Survives 28 days on phones

Similarly, it was found that the COVID-19 causing pathogen had capability to survive on banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel for unto 28 days. Australia's national science agency said in a report that SARS-Cov-2 was found to survive on this day-to-day material for far longer than was anticipated. This posed threat due to surface transmission, as scientists shed light on the fact that the pathogen was not only transmitted via cough, sneeze or talk with someone at a closer distance but surface contamination was also a leading cause for Covid-19 infections. According to US CDC, the respiratory droplets contaminated with coronavirus can land on surfaces and objects and a person could get COVID-19 by touching that surface with the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

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(Image Credit: AstraZeneca/representative Image)

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