The covid-19 virus can survive 28 days on banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel, according to an investigation by the Australian scientific agency, which concluded that, contrary to what was supposed, the virus resists longer in some surfaces.
Experts assume that, in addition to being usually transmitted when people cough, sneeze and speak, the virus can also be spread by particles in the air or on surfaces such as metal and plastic.
Other laboratory studies conducted previously found that SARS-Cov-2 could survive between two to three days in banknotes and glass, and up to six days in plastic and stainless steel, although results vary.
However, the latest study by Australian agency CSIRO found that the virus is “extremely robust”, allowing it to survive 28 days on smooth surfaces, such as glass on mobile phones and on plastic and paper notes, when kept at 20 ° C, which represents the room temperature of a room.
This study shows that covid-19 is much more resistant than the flu virus, which can survive under the same conditions for 17 days.
The experiments were carried out with stable temperature and humidity and in the dark, since it is proven that ultraviolet light kills the virus. Favorable conditions, therefore, that the virus may not find in the real world.
“By establishing how long the virus remains on surfaces, it allows us to predict and mitigate its spread with greater precision, and we can improve our work to protect people,” said Larry Marshall, CSIRO’s chief executive.
The study, published in Virology Journal, and quoted by BBC, found that the virus survived less time at higher temperatures and ceased to be infectious within 24 hours when exposed to 40 ° C on some surfaces. In addition, it remained longer on smooth, non-porous surfaces than on porous materials, such as tissue, where the virus was not found after 14 days.
These studies emphasize, however, the need to regularly wash hands and touch screens on phones, but avoid touching the face to minimize the risk of infection.
The study authors admit that the ability of SARS-Cov-2 to resist stainless steel at lower temperatures may explain the Covid-19 outbreaks in meat processing and refrigerated storage facilities. After all, thousands of workers have tested positive in these types of factories around the world.
CSIRO researchers also guarantee that the study they carried out confirms previous studies that suggest that the virus can survive in fresh and frozen foods. Still, the World Health Organization has already reassured the contrary: “Currently, there is no confirmed case of covid-19 transmitted by food or packaging.”