Health Care

Virus can survive on surfaces including phone screens for four weeks

Virus can survive on surfaces including phone screens for four weeks”

Since UV light has been shown to kill the virus, the experiment was conducted in the dark.

Dr Eagles said the results highlighted "just how resilient [the virus] is", particularly when compared to the Influenza A virus which can only survive on similar circumstances for 17 days.

The study noted several hypotheses that may explain the severity of the second infection, including the possibility the patient subsequently encountered a very high dose of the virus which caused a more acute reaction the second time. The virus doesn't do as well on porous surfaces, such as cotton.

The coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 may survive for up to 28 days on common surfaces including banknotes, glass - such as that found on smartphone screens - and stainless steel, according to a laboratory study by Australia's national science agency. "Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do better job protecting our people", he said.

The report was published just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump, who was infected with COVID-19 and hospitalized earlier this month, said he believes he now has immunity and felt "so powerful".

The virus had already shown the ability to remain infectious for up to three hours in airborne particles. What's less certain is the degree to which it can spread via surfaces such as banknotes and touchscreens.

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At 30 °C, the virus was present on stainless steel for seven days, on vinyl and cotton cloth for three days and on paper notes for 21 days.

Although this study is an important reminder to wash our hands and to stay aware of the situation around us, it (like most studies) shouldn't change how regular people keep themselves safe during the pandemic.

"There are still many unknowns about SARS-CoV-2 infections and the immune system's response, but our findings signal that a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection may not necessarily protect against future infection", said Mark Pandori, lead author of the study from the University of Nevada.

Another thing to favour longevity of the virus's survival is the smoothness of a surface. Other reasons previously suggested include close working conditions, cold and damp environments and the need to shout over noisy machinery.

Before SARS-CoV-2 was declared a pandemic, China had started decontaminating its paper currency, suggesting concerns over transmission via paper banknotes existed at the time, the researchers said, noting that the USA and South Korea have also quarantined bank notes as a result of the pandemic.

The government late last week tightened restrictions on the movement of people in 18 provinces for two weeks due to the growth of COVID-19 cases.

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