The test on coronavirus reveals that this virus only lives for three days on surfaces. The images from the advanced transmission electron microscope image reveal the structure of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) or 2019-nCoV isolated from a coronavirus positive patient from the US.
This new report suggests that coronavirus can roam in the air, alive for many hours but on certain surfaces, it can live for a maximum of three days. These tests were supported by the US government.
The study details are published as “Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1” and available online to read.
But this report doesn’t tell if there was anyone who got infected through touching the contaminated surface or breathing in the contaminated air.
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The first study author, Neeltje van Doremalen, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, say;
“We’re not by any way saying there is an aerosolized transmission of the virus,” but this work shows that the virus stays viable for long periods in those conditions, so it’s theoretically possible.”
Initially emerged from China in December 2019, this new virus has killed more than 4000 people and 120,000 are infected, globally. This number is far higher than the cases of 2003’s SARS outbreak which was caused by a somewhat similar virus.
For studying the coronavirus, the researchers used a nebulizer to take out a sample from an infected patient. The virus makes it to the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, thus makes it an airborne infection.
The study results showed that the virus could live for three hours in the air and up to four hours on surfaces made of copper. It lived up to 24 hours on surfaces made of cardboard and up to three days on surfaces that are made of plastic and stainless steel.
Surprisingly, the tests conducted on 2003’s SARS virus showed similar results. But the difference in the durability of these two viruses could not be compared with their widespread, say researchers.
All these tests were performed at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Lab and the research team included people from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Princeton University and UCLA. These tests were funded by the U.S. government and the “National Science Foundation”.
The findings are already published but they are not reviewed by anyone till the date. Julie Fischer who teaches microbiology professor at Georgetown University, says;
“It’s a solid piece of work that answers questions people have been asking,” and shows the value and importance of the hygiene advice that public health officials have been stressing.”
She further adds; “What we need to be doing is washing our hands, being aware that people who are infected may be contaminating surfaces,” and keeping hands away from the face.”
Researchers are currently working on finding the best way to get rid of coronavirus. It is a fact that this virus could live on surfaces for hours and days. So cleaning the surfaces with disinfectants and cleaners based on bleach is much likely to kill the coronavirus.