The COVID-19 virus can remain active on smooth surfaces for much longer than the flu virus, according to researchers at Australia’s National Science Agency. Such smooth surfaces include smartphone displays, metal surfaces and paper money.The researchers found that the virus can remain viable for up to 28 days, albeit in a tightly controlled environment. According to the study, under the same conditions, the influenza virus remains infectious for “only” 17 days.
The study proves that coronavirus is “extremely resistant” in comparison to other viruses, said the team.
“These results demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious for significantly longer time than is usually considered possible”, — the study said.
It should be noted that tissue and other porous surfaces can only carry active virus for half the time, or about 14 days.
Thus, the study shows the importance of cleaning and disinfecting the surface of smartphones and other smooth devices. However, it is necessary to make a few cautions. The coronavirus remains viable for 28 days under a number of conditions. Specifically, the study was conducted at a constant temperature of 20 degrees Celsius in the dark to neutralize the effects of ultraviolet light.
The experiment also did not use fresh mucus (usually present with viruses on the surface), which contains white blood cells and antibodies.
“In my opinion, viable viruses can persist in mucus on the surface for hours, not days”, — said Ron Ackles, professor from the Cardiff University.
Lately, experts have also been downplaying the risk of surface transmission of the coronavirus.
According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), “Spread from touching surfaces is not considered a common way of spreading COVID-19.” Rather, the most common vectors of infection are respiratory droplets, which are produced by coughing or sneezing.
The new guidelines also suggest that the virus can also be transmitted by airborne droplets in “poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that are often associated with activities that cause breathing difficulties such as singing or exercise.”
Still, there was a good time when we only talked about the spread of cyber viruses: for example, how Malware spreads and downloads payloads from paste-sites. Hope these happy times come back again.