Written by Sonali Ball and Steveka Nicole Pikes
MELBOURNE / SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian researchers said on Monday that the virus that causes Covid-19 disease can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, highlighting the need for cleaning and hand washing. Fight the virus.
The results of the study by the Australian National Science Agency, CSIRO, seem to show that in a tightly controlled environment, the virus has been contagious for longer than other studies have found.
CSIRO researchers found that at 20 ° C (68 ° F), SARS-COV-2 remained contagious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study has been published in Virology Journal.
By comparison, influenza A virus was found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.
“It really reinforces the importance of hand washing and sanitizing wherever possible and definitely wiping surfaces that may have been in contact with the virus,” said lead researcher Shane Riedl.
The study involved drying the virus in synthetic mucus on a group of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients, then recovering the virus over a period of a month.
Experiments at temperatures of 20, 30 and 40 degrees Celsius showed that the virus survived longer in cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces compared to complex surfaces such as cotton, and longer on paper notes compared to plastic notes.
“So as summer approaches, this will definitely be an important factor that the virus will not last long in warmer temperatures,” Riedel said, referring to the upcoming Southern Hemisphere summer.
All experiments were conducted in the dark to remove the effect of ultraviolet rays, as research has shown that direct sunlight can kill the virus.
“So it is likely that the results in the real world will be shorter than we have been able to show,” Riedel told Reuters.
The researchers said that given that proteins and fats in body fluids can sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help explain the continued spread of the virus in cold environments such as meat packing facilities.
Australia has performed significantly better than most other rich countries in the fight against COVID-19, with a total of nearly 27,000 infections and 898 deaths out of a population of 25 million.
The epicenter of the second wave of infections in the country, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, which is totally ashamed of the less than five-case target set by the government to ease the strict lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.
The most populous state of New South Wales reported six new cases on Monday, five of them returning from quarantined travelers.
(Prepared by Sonali Ball and Steveka Nicole Pikes; Editing by Stephen Coates)