Researchers have found that the coronavirus survives on the skin much longer than previously thought – even longer than flu viruses.
So far, droplet infection has been considered the main route of transmission of the coronavirus. But you can also get infected through contact with contaminated surfaces.
Recently, Australian researchers found that viruses can survive on smooth surfaces such as cell phone displays and ATMs for up to 28 days.
A study from Japan has now shown that the virus can also survive on the skin for significantly longer than assumed. The coronavirus differs from some flu viruses.
Coronaviruses can survive on human skin for up to nine hours. To do this, the research team from Kyoto applied both influenza viruses and coronaviruses to the skin. As the comparison showed, the flu viruses of the type Influenza-A survived just two hours.
The importance of hand hygiene reaffirmed
In a second experiment, the scientists simulated the transmission by sneezing or coughing by mixing the CoV-2 viruses with mucus. Then they stayed on the skin for up to eleven hours. However, with an ethanol-based disinfectant, it only took 15 seconds to kill them.
“The nine-hour survival time of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin could mean an increased risk of contact transmission compared to the influenza A virus,” the authors conclude in the study published in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases”.