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How long does Coronavirus survive on surfaces?

By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 14 May 2020

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The Coronavirus has caused quite a stir among people around the world due to its rapid spread. The virus causing COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through tiny respiratory droplets. These droplets are discharged by an infected person while coughing, speaking, and sneezing. There is a risk of Covid-19 when exposed to these droplets through the infected person. The droplets with Coronavirus may remain on nearby surfaces and may infect others touching these surfaces. Hence, frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is recommended by doctors. Any alcohol-based hand sanitiser may also be used for hand washing.

In this context, it is important to learn whether Coronavirus can survive on different surfaces like fabric, glass, and paper and thus spread the infection. 

How long can the Coronavirus survive on fabric?

Studies have revealed that the Coronavirus can live up to 24 hours in porous and absorbent surfaces like fabric. You probably know that the clothes we wear are made of some kind of fabric. Since the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive in fabric for up to 24 hours, it is very important that you wash your clothes with detergent as soon as you come back home after going out. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth while you are outside and before you sanitise your hands.

How long can the Coronavirus live on glass?

The Coronavirus can survive longer on smooth surfaces like glass, plastic, stainless steel, etc. for 4 to 7 days. In glass, the survival time of the virus is 4 days. Some of the common household items that are made of glass are TV, computer, and smartphone screens. Therefore, it is a good idea to disinfect these items before using them. In stainless steel surfaces such as doorknobs, metal handrails, keys, etc. the Coronavirus can live for up to 7 days.

Studies published in various journals have concluded that even though SARS-CoV-2 virus can be detected on plastic and steel for 7 days, it is viable on plastic only for 72 hours and on steel for 48 hours. When the virus is not viable, the chances of infection are low. However, there is no harm in being cautious and following good hand hygiene.

How long does Coronavirus live on paper?

Like fabric, paper is also a porous substance and hence, the Coronavirus can thrive on it for up to 24 hours. Therefore, ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water after you have touched anything made of paper such as cardboard, magazines/newspapers, tissues, etc. As for your packages that arrive in the post, chances are that it will have very low virus levels as long as the delivery person handles it with sanitised hands.

On the other hand, research has revealed that on wood the Coronavirus can live up to 2 days. Since a lot of our furniture at home is made of wood, it is recommended that you clean the surfaces regularly with soap and water followed by a diluted bleach solution.

What should you do to reduce the chances of spreading or catching the Coronavirus?

Think of everything around you as being contaminated by the virus but at the same time, do not worry about it too much. Just ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Also, make sure to disinfect surfaces to keep them free from any disease-causing microbes.

If you have any questions related to Coronavirus, you can consult our team of expert doctors through online doctor consultation.

 

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