According to a new Australian study, the coronavirus can survive on surfaces such as mobile screens and stainless steel for up to 28 days, under controlled conditions. A British professor criticizes the study.
The study from the Australian Public Research Institute CSIRO was conducted under controlled conditions in the laboratory, with stable humidity, a temperature of 20 degrees and in the dark.
It is therefore not at all certain that the virus does just as well in the real world, where conditions are less virus-friendly, writes the BBC.
The researchers behind the study, which is published in the Virology Journal, also point out that it is still unclear what role surfaces play in the spread of the pandemic. writes the Sydney Morning Herald. Most people are infected via droplets in the air because, for example, they are close to an infected person who sneezes or coughs.
12 questions: This we have learned about corona
Points to mobiles and ATMs
“It’s important to know how long this virus can last, so we know how often we need to disinfect things and what kind of risk common surfaces pose,” said Trevor Drew, head of the Australian Centers for Disease Control at Australian ABC.
By comparison, the common flu virus has been shown to survive under the same controlled conditions for 17 days, he and the other researchers behind the study write.
Previous research from the USA has shown that the coronavirus could be transmitted on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for three days.
According to the Australian study, the coronavirus can survive longer on smooth, non-porous surfaces than on porous materials such as clothing.
“Touchscreen devices such as mobile phones, ATMs and ATMs for checking in at airports are surfaces that are touched a lot, and which may not be washed regularly enough and which can pose a risk of infection,” says Drew.
The study also showed that the life of the virus is shorter when the temperature rises. In the researchers’ studies, for example, the virus no longer infected after 24 hours at a temperature of 40 degrees on certain surfaces.
Criticizes the study: – Spreads via mucus
Professor Ron Eccles, former head of the Common Cold Center at Cardiff University in the UK, believes the study creates unnecessary fear in the population.
“Viruses spread to surfaces via mucus in coughs, sneezes and dirty fingers, and this study did not use fresh human mucus as a tool to spread the virus,” he told the BBC, adding that fresh human mucus was a “hostile environment”. for viruses.
– In my opinion, infectious viruses will only stay for a few hours in mucus on surfaces, not days, he says.
In July, microbiology professor Emanuel Goldman at Rutgers University said the risk of spreading infection via surfaces is very small. Last week, medicine professor Monica Gandhi at the University of California said that the coronavirus does not spread via surfaces, writes the BBC.