The virus that causes Covid-19 can remain infectious on some surfaces for as long as 28 days, a new study has found.
Experts from Australia’s national science agency claim the virus can survive for far longer on surfaces than previously thought.
While the the coronavirus is typically transmitted through coughs, sneezing and talking, researchers say it can also be spread by particles in the air, as well as on surfaces such as metal and plastic.
Other laboratory studies have found that SARS-Cov-2 can survive for two to three days on bank notes and glass, and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel.
However, the latest research from Australian agency CSIRO found the virus was “extremely robust,” surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and both plastic and paper banknotes.
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They claim the influenza virus, in comparison, can survive in the same circumstances for 17 days.
“Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people,” CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall told the BBC.
“Together, we hope this suite of solutions from science will break down the barriers between us, and shift focus to dealing with specific virus hotspots so we can get the economy back on track.”
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The CSIRO study, published in the Virology Journal, found the virus survived for less time at hotter temperatures.
Researchers discovered it stopped being infectious within 24 hours at 40C on some surfaces. They said the ability of Covid-19 to persist on stainless steel at cooler temperatures could explain outbreaks at meat processing and cold storage facilities.