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Be Safe, Be Smart
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If you’re trapped at home like me, washing your hands for 20 seconds several times a day, and only occasionally going out to grab essential supplies in non-panic levels, you’re doing your part to slow the virus’s spread, and your actions will save lives.

You’re also probably like me and looking at all the doorknobs/door-handle in your house like they’re out to get you.

So, let’s address how long the virus can linger or set down on surfaces, and what you should be wiping down to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.

How Long Corona Virus Survive?

First off, let’s just say that the scientific literature on the subject is pretty limited. The novel coronavirus is just that: Novel means new. Its full name is SARS-CoV-2, and like all sequels, it's worse than the original. It’s taken the world by storm, and even though it is a very pressing threat, scientific research moves at a much slower pace. It takes time to study it, have the results peer-reviewed and confirmed, and then published.

So, some of this information is still in the pre-print phase, and may be changed or tweaked, but I promise you it is much more rigorously tested than a lot of the information that’s flying around on Facebook or Twitter and other Social Media platforms.

One study from the National Institutes of Health, that at the time we wrote this was available in pre-print, examined how long the virus can remain viable on a few common “fomites,” or materials which can transmit the infection.

The fomites that were tested were copper, stainless steel, cardboard and one of the most common plastics called polypropylene, which is used to package food, for tote or carry bags, and in many kitchen items.
How Long Coronavirus Survive On Surface
The researchers found copper was the toughest for the virus to survive on; 4 hours after exposure they couldn’t find any that were viable, or capable of infecting a person.

Cardboard was the next toughest for the virus, with none found viable after 24 hours.

Stainless steel and plastic were much more accommodating, with viable examples detected even 72 hours after exposure. But let’s mix in a little good news with the bad.

Just because there were viable viruses doesn’t mean their concentration wasn’t dropping. In fact, the concentration dropped quite a bit, and it did so faster on the steel than on the plastic. That’s because most viruses degrade outside a living host, so while you can still get infected by contacting a contaminated surface days after the virus was deposited there, it’s not as risky as within the first few hours of contamination.
Also Read - The Coronavirus Vaccine | Explained
The study also examined how long the virus can remain viable when suspended in aerosols. The experiment lasted three hours, and the virus remained viable the entire time (3 hours), with not much of a drop in concentration. However, and I cannot stress this enough: that does not mean the virus is “airborne,” like the virus that causes measles (Smallpox).

The researchers aerosolized this virus artificially by spraying it into a mist and keeping it aloft inside a special rotating drum.

In contrast, when an infected person exhales or coughs, the virus is typically carried in larger droplets, which do not stay suspended in the air as long. If droplets land on a person or a fomite, then yes, that’s a problem. But from what we know, the virus doesn’t transmit like measles, which can stay infectious in the air for half an hour or more.

Now, these are all results from tightly-controlled laboratory settings. In the real world, it’s possible the UV light from sunshine disinfects surfaces faster. It’s also possible that even though your package was in transit for over 24 hours, it was just sneezed on before it was left at your door. So, don’t take these as hard and fast rules, but more guidelines.

Hopefully what this information really does is help make clear, why you’ve been asked to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face and going out. SARS-CoV-2 spreads most effectively from person to person. If you touch surfaces you fear can be contaminated, avoid touching your face because you can infect yourself through your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Wash Your Hands With Soap
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap destroys the virus. As a bonus, soap micelles also envelop the fragments of viruses and carry them away, which is what makes soap more effective than hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes are still effective if they’re over 60% alcohol in your sanitizer, so go ahead and wipe down frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, remotes, and light switches daily. And don't forget your phone, which touches your hands and face a lot, so that should be wiped down often.
Also Read - What Happen If You Get Infected With Corona Virus?
And most importantly: Do not panic. At a time like this, good information saves lives. Stay safe, stay smart, and do your part.

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