Keep your alcohol spray bottles and disinfectant wipes at the ready, as a research study found that the coronavirus survives for as long as 28 days on smooth surfaces like banknotes, glass and stainless steel.
Australian national science agency CSIRO recently published their study in Virology Journal which proved that the SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid19, stays infectious for a longer period of time—almost a month—in lower temperatures (20 degrees Celsius) on smooth surfaces frequently touched, such as phone screens.
Shane Riddell, the study’s lead researcher said: “It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitizing where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus.”
By comparison, the Influenza A virus survives on surfaces for only 17 days.
The researchers dried virus in artificial mucus and placed them on a range of surfaces at concentrations close to those of samples from Covid19 patients. These were recovered after a month and were tested at 20, 30 and 40 degrees Celsius, which showed that it survived longer in cooler temperatures; on smoother surfaces as opposed to complex surfaces like cotton; and on paper banknotes than plastic ones.
The experiments were done in the dark as well, to eliminate the effects of ultraviolet light. Previous research showed that direct sunlight can kill the virus too.
The scientists added that the coronavirus’ ability to survive cooler temperatures coupled with the propensity of proteins and fats in body fluids to prolong virus survival, could explain why it spreads so easily in cool environments like meatpacking facilities.