Can COVID-19 spread through inanimate objects?

COVID-Sars virus can last up to 28 days on surfaces and remain infectious.

New research carried out by an Australian agency revealed that COVID-19 could last longer on surfaces than the previously found study that states the otherwise.

The virus can survive on banknotes, glass, stainless steel, etc. longer than expected. The experiment was conducted in the dark as exposure to UV light is known to kill the virus.

According to the US center for disease control, the COVID-19 can also spread just by touching infected surfaces apart from suspended air particles released when sneezing and coughing.

The new findings from the Australian research team further prove the matter.

Smoothness and robust living

Previous laboratory results showed that the sars-COVID virus lasted only for three days on banknotes and glass surfaces but six days on steel and plastic surfaces with varying results.

The new findings were released on October 12 (Monday) by Australia’s National Science Agency CSIRO. It showed that the virus in a very controlled environment lasts longer than in the previous studies’ results.

When comparing the newfound results to the Influenza A virus, it was found to survive only 17 days under the same conditions. They further revealed that COVID-19 survived for lesser time on hot surfaces than on cold surfaces.

The experiments were carried out at different temperatures like 20, 30, 40 C, and the absence of light. It was observed that the virus better survives at 20 ‘C. It also turned out to become non-infectious when exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees C for 24 hours.

When coming to the type of surfaces, porous materials like cloth were found not to carry the virus for more than 14 days. This is comparatively less than on smooth surfaces like phone screens, railings, and plastic items. Researchers also described that the virus was “extremely robust” for surviving that long.

Transmissions via inanimate surfaces

In light of the research, Professor Ron Eccles, a former director of Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University, disagreed with the results. He stated that the time period mentioned could cause panic and unnecessary fear to the public.

Eccles described that the virus mainly spreads through mucus in coughs, sneezes, and dirty hands. He pointed out that the research conducted did not use any mucus during its study process.

He further mentioned that the mucus carries many white blood cells, antibodies, and other chemicals that will help neutralize the virus.

Other esteemed professors like Emanuel Goldman and Monica Gandhi also disagreed with the outcome. They stated the virus’s transmission via inanimate surfaces is very small and sometimes negligible.

Image courtesy of Maridav/Shutterstock

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