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Coronavirus, how temperature and surfaces change its survival outside the body

Coronavirus, how temperature and surfaces change its survival outside the body

April 11, 2020
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Is it true that novel coronavirus slows down with high temperatures? And what happens when novel coronavirus contaminates clothes or banknotes? These are questions that we asked ourselves in the last weeks, since the coronavirus emergency broke out. An answer comes from a recent study published in the journal The Lancet by a team of scientists of Hong Kong University, here is what emerged.

Coronavirus, do high temperatures slow down novel coronavirus?

According to the research, yes, they do, high temperatures seem to slow down novel coronavirus. In particular, scientists have studied the survival of the virus by subjecting it to different temperatures. What emerged is that at 4° C the virus is stable and survives until 14 days, the longest period of time analyzed by the research. At 22° C the virus is not detectable after 2 weeks, at 37° C after 2 days, at 56° C the virus disappears after 30 minutes and at 70° C after 5 minutes. For this reason, as shown, the virus is sensitive to heat.

Coronavirus, how long does it survive on clothes? And banknotes?

The new research analyzed in a detailed way the survival of novel coronavirus outside the body. Thanks to previous studies it has been known that the lifetime of the coronavirus depends on the type of surfaces. In this research the information becomes more complete and what emerged is that smooth surfaces are the most favorite by the virus, on which it survives longer. But let’s see better in detail. On paper the coronavirus has been detected up to 30 minutes, on wood up to 1 day, on clothes up to 1 day, on glass up to 2 days, on banknotes up to 2 days, on steel up to 3 days, on plastic up to 4 days, on the inner surface of masks up to 4 days while on the external part of masks the virus is detectable even at the seventh day, that is the maximum length of the experiment, for this reason the virus may survive on this surface for a longer period of time. This information may be useful to understand also that with surfaces we should be very careful and that it is important not to touch the face with dirty hands, also after touching the banknotes, to wash often the hands with water and soap for a minute and / or also to use a disinfectant solution with at least 60% alcohol.

Coronavirus, how resistant it is to disinfectants

After 5 minutes that the household bleach was used, the virus was completely destroyed, the same for alcohol. So, both of these disinfectants kill the virus. Previous studies indicated 1 minute the time it takes for alcohol to destroy the coronavirus, but in this study the time interval analyzed was 5 minutes. A similar result was also obtained with chlorhexidine and benzalkonium chloride based disinfectants.

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