In the past few days, we saw a steep increase in the death toll related to the novel coronavirus. Infected people with the virus can contaminate surfaces of plastic, glass and metal through droplets. With the easy spread of the virus, there is mounting concern about how long can the virus linger on the surfaces. China's central bank is now taking measures to deep clean and destroy its cash which changes hands multiple times in a day. Here's what researchers have to say about the potential of the virus infecting people from contaminated surfaces.
How Long Can Coronavirus Strains Like SARS and MERS Linger On Surfaces?
According to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronaviruses like SARS and MERS can linger on inanimate surfaces as long as nine days. However, disinfecting the surface with ethanol, hydrogen peroxide or bleach can potentially inactivate the viruses. However, more research needs to be conducted in this area. Coronavirus Outbreak: Here’s How 2019-nCoV Spreads in Humans; Are Animals and Pets Responsible for Transmission of Disease? All FAQs Answered by WHO.
How Long Can The Novel Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?
According to the CDC, the novel coronavirus is believed to spread through respiratory droplets through coughing or sneezing. The novel strains have a poor 'survivability' on surfaces, but there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19. CDC claims that the novel coronavirus can live on surfaces for as long as 48 hours and potentially infect people. Difference Between Coronavirus and Seasonal Flu Exhibiting Respiratory Symptoms? Everything You Need to Know About the Two Infections.
Can The Novel Coronavirus Contaminate Food?
People infected with coronavirus can also potentially pass the germs to someone if they do not handle the food they prepare hygienically. The cough droplets in hands can get to the food and spread the virus. Therefore, as a thumb rule, make sure that you wash your hands before handling food. Remember that the symptoms of the infection are suppressed in the early stages so you may not even know that you are contagious. China's Coronavirus Outbreak: Can Wearing A Face Mask Protect You Against the Deadly Disease Claiming Hundreds of Lives?
While experts still need clarity about how long the viruses can live on surfaces, it is best to wash your hands regularly and wear gloves to keep the risk of the disease to a minimum.