The new coronavirus can survive at least 28 days on surfaces like plastic and steel at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, at room temperature, according to a study by the Australian scientific agency published today.
SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the pandemic that infected more than 37 million people on the planet and caused more than one million deaths, can survive 10 more days than the flu virus, pointed out the Organization for Scientific and Industrial Research of the Commonwealth of Australia (CSIRO).
“At 20 degrees Celsius, which is room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely strong and survived 28 days on smooth surfaces like glass, found in cell phones, and plastic cards,” said the deputy director of the Australian Center for CSIRO Disease Preparation, Debbie Eagles, quoted by Efe news agency.
At 30 degrees Celsius, the virus’s chances of survival drop to 21 days on paper notes and seven days on plastic or stainless steel cards.
If the temperature is 40 degrees, SARS-CoV-2 can be kept for 48 hours on plastic surfaces, one day on glass, steel, paper and plastic, and less than 16 hours on cotton clothing, according to with the study, published in the scientific journal Virology Journal.
The researchers, whose research suggests that high temperatures reduce the possibility of covid-19 infections, inserted viruses into artificial mucus and placed similar amounts of samples taken from infected patients on various surfaces.
Then, they isolated the coronavirus again for a month under conditions of variable temperature, placing the samples in the dark, to remove the effect of ultraviolet rays.
“Although the precise role of surface transmission, the degree of contact and the amount of virus required for infection have not yet been determined, we can establish how long this virus survives on surfaces,” said the same source.
The director of the Australian Center for Disease Preparedness at CSIRO, Trevor Drew, noted however that the survival time depends on the type and amount of virus, the surface, environmental conditions or the way it is expelled from the body.
“Proteins and fats in human fluids also significantly increase the virus’s survival time,” he explained.
Scientists hope the discovery will contribute to developing risk reduction strategies in areas of high contact and to try to understand the apparent persistent spread in cold environments with high contamination of proteins and lipids, such as slaughterhouses.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than one million and seventy-four thousand deaths and more than 37.2 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the news agency France-Presse (AFP).
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.