The virus is mainly transmitted when people cough, sneeze or talk. But experts say it can also be spread by tiny particles in the air (aerosols), and through surfaces like metal and plastic.
Banknotes: Previous laboratory studies have shown that the virus can survive for two to three days on banknotes and glass, and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel, although results differ. In comparison, the flu virus can last up to 17 days in comparable circumstances.
The latest experiments in Australia were conducted in the dark, as UV light has already been shown to kill the virus. The research, published in Virology Journal, further found that the virus did not survive as long at higher temperatures. It turned out to be no longer contagious on some surfaces within 24 hours at 40 degrees.
The ability of the coronavirus to remain contagious on stainless steel at lower temperatures could explain the corona outbreak in the meat processing industry and cold storage. Worldwide, thousands of workers in meat processing plants and slaughterhouses have tested positive.