A group of scientists in Japan have discovered something new about the coronavirus. These scientists have spent a lot of time investigating how long coronavirus (COVID-19) can survive on different types of surfaces, and the result of this study was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease on October 3, 2020. In that study it was found that the coronavirus can live up to 9 hours on human skin, which is significantly longer (up to 4 and a half times) compared to the common flu.
The coronavirus can be spread primarily through droplets from person-to-person contact, which is why frequent hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask are strongly recommended. What’s more concerning is that, according to that study, COVID-19 can survive much longer than the common flu on different surfaces other than human skin, such as plastic, stainless steel, paper, and glass. The common flu virus, according to the study, can live for only less than two hours.
The use of hand sanitizers, in addition to frequent hand washing with soap and water, is very important because coronavirus and influenza cells were found to be completely inactivated in just 15 seconds of contact with a hand sanitizer containing 80 percent ethanol. That’s what health experts have been recommending all along to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. In that study, the scientists concluded that the long survival time of the coronavirus may be a huge factor in accelerating the pandemic.
Senior health officials have advised people to always be vigilant and to continue to follow safety protocols, and to ensure that their immune systems are strengthened. Coronavirus can cause mild or moderate symptoms for most people, such as fever and cough that go away in two to three weeks. But it could be much worse for some people, especially the elderly ones and people with existing health problems, as it can complicate diseases that lead to organ failure and death.