The novel coronavirus led to a global pandemic at the beginning of this year and it is still spreading through various countries. The virus altered the lifestyle of people as it can spread through airborne particles and aerosols from the mouth.
Recent research at the National Science Agency CSIRO in Australia shows that the virus can survive longer at room temperature. Also, the lifespan increases even more at low temperatures. According to the research, the virus has the ability to adhere to smooth surfaces and last longer on them. These include smooth glass surface or stainless steel.
The novel coronavirus has a lower surviving ability on porous materials such as cotton, as described by the researchers. The researchers also mentioned the ability of novel coronavirus to survive on banknotes. The virus behind Covid-19 tends to stay longer or banknotes made out of paper instead of plastic.
Previously, a study published in The Lancet back in April which showed different results regarding the survival of the virus on such surfaces. According to this previous study, the virus vanished from banknotes after 4 days and from a smooth stainless-steel surface after 7 days.
The Deputy Director at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, Dr. Debbie Eagles said that the results of this research show the ability of coronavirus to survive on a surface for a longer period. It remains active on smooth surfaces and it can cause infection among people. Hence, good hygiene practices, washing hands regularly, and cleaning common surfaces can help control the spread of the virus.
Dr. Debbie also mentioned that coronavirus remained highly robust at room temperature of 20 degrees. Surprisingly, the virus remained infectious on surfaces such as banknotes and glass for nearly 28 days. Researchers tested Influenza A virus for the same period and found that it can survive on these surfaces for no more than 17 days.
This research shows that the coronavirus can remain infectious on such a surface for a longer period. However, some experts suggest otherwise. Most of the time, the virus spreads through an infectious person by coughing, sneezing, and sometimes even talking.
According to Dr. Eagles, researchers do not yet know how much viral load is sufficient to cause infection through a surface. Also, it is important to note how much contact the virus requires to spread from a surface and cause infection. However, we need to take into account the fact that the novel coronavirus can spread through such surfaces. This can help reduce the risk of viral spread and develop strategies that will minimize viral spread through these surfaces.
The chief executive of CSIRO, Dr. Larry Marshall mentioned that this research coordinates with the work of the national science agency for the development of coronavirus vaccine. Awareness of risk associated with the spread of coronavirus from such surfaces can also help protect people from the lethal virus.
Previously, studies showed that the virus can not spread easily through surfaces. However, over time, scientists are learning more about the novel coronavirus which helps improve the safety of people against infection. Meanwhile, it is better to take precautions than to avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus.