Coronavirus outbreak: Beware of contaminated surfaces, this includes plastic and steel! With the widespread of Coronavirus, people prepare themselves to keep them un-infected. In order to do that, washing hands, wearing masks and avoiding public places have been the key. However, a new study reveals that apart one should wash hands frequently as many plastics and stainless steel surfaces are likely to be contaminated. Not only making these surfaces contaminated but the new strain of Coronavirus can actually remain on surfaces for at least 3 days. This can lead to an increase in transmission risk
A study conducted in the US checked for how long HCoV-19 (Coronavirus strain) last and what was the duration if it is compared to the strain of SARS-CoV-1. It is to note that the SARS outbreak was caused in China only in the year 2002. The results showed that both the virus strains are similar when it comes to stability. Also, they have been more viable on these two surfaces only as the did not last long on copper surfaces and carboard.
The researchers from the National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Princeton University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, National Institutes of Health, and the University of California have done the tests where they tracked the virus activities by up to 7 days on different surfaces with different strains. "HCoV-19 was most stable on plastic and stainless steel and the viable virus could be detected up to 72 hours post-application," the study said. In the case of aerosols, the estimated half-life of the virus is 2.7 hours, the researchers said. Half-life is the number of hours that are required for the virus concentration to decay by half.
As the virus has high environmental stability, it is easily transmitted. Also, any infected person is likely to transmit the novel Coronavirus before the symptoms occur. In more than 100 countries, the virus has spread as of now and has infected more than 1.2 lakh people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has termed the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.