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Coronavirus Can Remain Infectious Outside The Body For Up To 9 days

 

More than 850,000 people in 200 countries have been infected by the Wuhan coronavirus. While the Covid-19 outbreak is dying down in China, there is fast increasing number of infections and deaths all across the globe. The Wuhan coronavirus is easily transmitted between people. The Covid-19 outbreak has exploded in the USA with more than 185,000 reported cases and over 3,700 deaths. What makes the Wuhan coronavirus so infectious?

Coronavirus Can Survive Outside The Body For Up To 9 Days

Coronavirus present in the blood or bodily fluids of the infected people including the respiratory droplets when they cough, sneeze or breathe. Infected people can spread the virus to the surrounding objects. Based on the studies of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV), coronaviruses can survive outside the body and remain infectious for up to 9 days. 

Coronavirus can survive longer on non-porous surfaces like glass, plastic and metal. It remains active particularly indoor with cold air and low humidity. At elevated temperature, 30°C or above, coronavirus tends to survive for a shorter period of time. Therefore, further study is required to see whether or not, the use of air conditioner in many buildings and homes in tropical countries contributes to the spreading of the coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus outbreak has spread to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

The blood or bodily fluids of the infected people can contaminate the inanimate objects such as door handles, door bells, lift buttons, tables, chairs, book covers, notes and coins; hence, people who touch these object may get infected. Infected people usually start to experience symptoms within 2 to 10 days, however, it can take up to 27 days before the symptoms start to appear.

 

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Indoor environments such as hospitals, offices, shopping malls and supermarkets can be the ideal places for coronaviruses to spread. In China, more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected by the Wuhan coronavirus. Studies suggest that on plastic surfaces at room temperature (20°C-22°C), coronavirus can remain infectious for up to 9 days. On glass surfaces, coronavirus can survive for up to 5 days; while on latex gloves or aluminium surfaces, coronavirus can last for up to 8 hours. 

The table below shows the survival times of coronaviruses on various surfaces and temperatures.

Surfaces Temperatures Viruses  Survival Times
Aluminium
21°C
Human Coronavirus up to 8 hours
Ceramic
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 5 days 
Disposable gown
20°C - 22°C
SARS Coronavirus up to 2 days
Glass
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 5 days
20°C - 22°C
SARS Coronavirus
up to 4 days
Metal
20°C - 22°C
SARS Coronavirus
up to 5 days
Paper
20°C - 22°C
SARS Coronavirus
up to 5 days
Plastic
20°C - 22°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 6 days
20°C
MERS Coronavirus
up to 2 days
30°C
MERS Coronavirus
up to 24 hours
20°C - 22°C
SARS Coronavirus
up to 9 days
PVC
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 5 days
Silicon rubber
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 5 days
Steel
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 5 days
20°C
MERS Coronavirus
up to 2 days
30°C
MERS Coronavirus
up to 24 hours
Surgical glove (latex)
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 8 hours
Teflon
21°C
Human Coronavirus
up to 5 days
Wood
20°C - 22°C
SARS Coronavirus
up to 4 days

Chemicals to Reduce The Activity of Coronavirus Outside The Body

Some chemicals have been proven to reduce the ability of coronaviruses to cause an infection. Data showed that the exposure to Ethanol in a concentration of 78% to 95% or Propanol in a concentration between 75% and 100% or Povidone Iodine in a concentration of 4% to 7.5% decreased the activity of coronaviruses within 30 seconds. To slow down the coronavirus outbreak, public places such as airports, hospitals, offices, shopping malls and supermarkets should be cleansed regularly using one of these chemicals. Be well informed that the information about these chemicals is only for no-direct body contact, external use only.

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Author:

Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with USA, UK and Singapore at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips. 

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Scientific sources: Top Chinese expert Zhong Nanshan clarifies only 1 case in coronavirus study shows 24-day incubation period, The Straits Times Singapore, 12-02-2020; Covid-19 Coronavirus Otbreak, Worldometers; Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and its inactivation with biocidal agents, The Journal of Hospital infection.


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