Study finds how long coronavirus survives on skin


Japanese researchers found, from a laboratory experiment, how long the coronavirus is able to survive on a person’s skin.

Asian woman hand using wash hand sanitizer gel dispenser automatic machine for prevent Coronavirus

© Tzido / istock
Asian woman hand using wash hand sanitizer gel dispenser automatic machine for prevent Coronavirus

In the study, they analyzed samples of two viruses: the one causing covid-19 and the one influenza. To avoid contamination of healthy volunteers, the viruses were mixed with human skin samples taken at autopsy 24 hours before.

What they were able to observe is that, while the flu virus lasted less than two hours on the skin, the coronavirus survived for up to nine hours.

“This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 may be at increased risk of contact transmission [ou seja, transmissão por contato direto] than IAV (influenza A virus) because the former is much more stable on human skin, ”wrote the authors in their article, which was published online on October 3 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The team says that information about how long the virus survives on the skin can help develop approaches to prevent contact transmission and reinforce the importance of washing hands or using alcohol gel.

Both viruses were completely inactivated in 15 seconds by a disinfectant containing 80% alcohol.

Correct hand hygiene

Respiratory viruses like the coronavirus spread when contaminated mucus or droplets enter a healthy individual’s body through the eyes, nose or mouth. This can easily happen when the person brings the contaminated hand to the face. That is why it is so important to always wash your hands with soap and water or gel alcohol.

To eliminate all traces of the skin virus, you need to take it step by step without haste. The process should take at least 20 to 30 seconds.

Step 1: wet your hands under running water

Step 2: apply enough soap to cover wet hands

Step 3: rub the entire surface of your hands – including the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails – for at least 20 seconds.

Step 4: rinse thoroughly with running water

Step 5: dry your hands with a clean cloth or disposable towel

See too: Learn how to wash your hands properly to protect yourself from the coronavirus

See too: Study finds how long coronavirus lives in frozen


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