Coronavirus on surfaces in hospital wards could contaminate other areas within only ten hours, research shows.
University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital scientists tracked the route of the spread of a kind of virus for five days. This could not infect humans.
The virus was placed on the handrail of a bed in an isolation room. This is where susceptible and high-risk patients of coronavirus are kept quarantined separately.
The experts sampled 44 sites in different spots across the specifically chosen ward. This included door handles, bed rails, and armrests.
In the ten surfaces, 4 of them included books and toys for children in the waiting area. In only 10 hours the virus-infected all these surfaces.
Three days later it was considerably detectable and 60 % of the samples tested positive for the virus. After exactly five days, the virus died out slowly.
Experts stressed the significant importance of disinfecting surfaces by cleaning workers, good hand hygiene and cleanliness practices could stop the spread of coronavirus on surfaces.
The researchers had chosen a harmless virus for humans that infected plants for their research. They did not reveal the hospital they studied this at.
The researchers put the DNA of a virus called cauliflower mosaic virus into water. They did this to duplicate SARS-CoV-2 as it behaves in droplets from respiratory regions. Such droplets which spread the virus during sneezing and coughing.
The infected water was positioned on a handrail of the hospital bed in the chosen isolation room. This bed was in a children’s ward of the hospital.
The study sampled 44 sites in the ward. These samples included general wards and clinical areas that evening and over five days.
This exponentially increased to 59 percent of sites after only three days and fell to 41 percent after five days of studying.
This led to the conclusion that: moving patients, poor hygiene, and carers not washing their hands often contributed significantly to the spread of the virus. The papers’ implications were clear that coronavirus on surfaces would only live if hygiene were poorly practiced in all areas.
Dr. Lena Ciric, a senior author of the study from UCL, said, the study stresses the significant role surfaces play in spreading viruses and how important it is to have good handwashing habits and cleaning of surfaces.
She continued to say that the virus was transported to a single site, and was therefore transmitted through touch only by patients, staff, and visitors who interacted with several surfaces.
In the case of a person with coronavirus, however, it will transmit the virus more than one specific site as they are prone to coughing and sneezing. They might also spread it through touching surfaces.
Around the first bed they infected, the virus was detectable the most.
Among the 86 percent of clinical areas sampled, on day three tested positive for the virus. This area included closer rooms with more beds.
60 percent of sites that were sampled, after day four tested positive for the virus including nearby bed space areas.
People are susceptible to coronavirus through droplets that exit through respiratory regions. These droplets leave the body through sneezing and coughing and eventually infect other individuals.
Co-author Dr. Elaine Cloutman-Green lead healthcare scientist at GOSH said just how the virus in the study could be wiped and disinfected through the washing of hands through water and soap, so does SARS-Cov-2.
She says acts of handwashing and cleaning are our best and most effective line of defense against the coronavirus. This study stands as a reminder of that very fact. Coronavirus on surfaces can be disinfected with proper hygiene observed by health care workers, visitors to clinics and by the cleaning of surfaces besides using proper protective equipment (PPE)