How long does coronavirus “live” on surfaces?

According to a preliminary study published this March, transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19 is possible from fomites and aerosols.

Phomites are contaminated objects and aerosols are those particles that come out of the mouth and when speaking or sneezing and are nebulized in the air. They are called “Flügge droplets” after the first person to speak of them around 1900, the German bacteriologist and hygienist Carl Flügge. Both fomites and aerosols transmit COVID-19 by contact.

Transmission of COVID-19 through metal , plastic or glass objects is possible

Transmission viability times vary between three hours and three days depending on the surface. We still do not know well the specific preferences of COVID-19, but it is true that certain materials, due to their frequency of use among humans, are more likely to infect us. In  oral sprays the virus remains for about three hours. Then there are the  coins , especially if they have copper, as is the case with the euros, which can be contaminated for up to four hours.

In cardboard  and cardboard boxes it  can live up to a day. In the  plastic , for example, in pens or in the mobile phone case, it is installed between 6 hours and two or three days. And on  stainless steel , for example, railings, knobs and cutlery, it can live from 13 hours to two or three days as well.

Although the survival of the coronavirus COVID-19 in fabrics is not yet being investigated, by previous studies with other coronaviruses and the flu it would be said that viruses live better on hard surfaces (metal, glass, plastic). Washing  clothes  with soap and water at 60-90 degrees is a good prevention measure.

Is transmission of COVID-19 possible through shoes and clothing?

Attention to  the shoe hoax and the COVID-19. He circulates on WhatsApp and networks and says that the coronavirus remains on the ground, so it is advisable to wear only a few shoes and leave them on the street, the hallway or the staircase before entering. The Ministry of Health has already  denied it.  Italians have also said it is false. A virologist at the University of Milan has admitted that COVID-19 can survive for a few days in the soil, but with negligible viral load.

Conclusion: The transmission of COVID-19 through contaminated objects and aerosols is possible, but the temperature  and humidity conditions are key because they reduce the resistance of the virus. The COVID-19 coronavirus may be on the surface, but not carry a sufficient burden to infect.

The Apothecary’s Advice

In these times when information of all kinds circulates, messages from documented sources must be shared  . Beware of networks and WhatsApp, they are a source of noise and toxicity.


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