How long does coronavirus live on different surfaces (updated)

What items should be careful and how to clean.

Is it possible to get COVID ‑ 19 infected by opening a parcel from AliExpress? What about books from the library or bar in the gym? We figure out how long coronavirus lives on different surfaces, based on existing studies, WHO data and the opinions of Susan Wootton and Michael Chang, two infectologists at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas.

  • Although studies are still ongoing, WHO reports that the behavior of COVID ‑ 19 is in many ways similar to other already known and studied coronaviruses. This gives us an idea of ​​what the new virus is capable of.
  • The life span of coronavirus on different surfaces varies from several hours to several days. It depends not only on the material, but also on temperature and humidity. In laboratory conditions, it was possible to identify that coronaviruses live up to 9 days.
  • According to Wootton, in real conditions, this period is much lower and can be as little as a couple of hours. It lasts the longest in a cold and humid climate, but heat and dryness, on the contrary, kills it faster.
  • A fresh report based on 22 studies showed that disinfection of rooms, things and surfaces is really effective in combating the virus.

Things to be careful with

How long does coronavirus live on different surfaces
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That’s what experts say about the dangers of certain objects during an outbreak of coronavirus.

  • Books from the library are relatively safe, says Wootton. At the same time, there are many dangers in the library: the virus can be on shelves with popular books (if they are open) and on tables in the reading room. You should be careful with everything that other people often touch.
  • Equipment in the gym, carts and baskets in the supermarket, door handles and toys in kindergarten can be dangerous, while individual lockers and other things that you don’t share with other people should be in order. If you touch a potentially infected object, wash your hands as soon as possible and do not touch your face .
  • According to data of the WHO, the risk of contracting of parcels is minimal.
  • But the smartphone should be cleaned for sure. We carry it everywhere, take it out of our pocket or bag many times a day, and it can become a real breeding ground for diseases. UV cleaning devices are quite suitable – Samsung provides this service for Galaxy devices for free – or use this instruction to disinfect your smartphone yourself. If possible, do not bring the smartphone to your face and talk through the speakerphone or headphones (but do not forget to regularly clean them, too).

Coronavirus protection cleaning

How long does coronavirus live on different surfaces
pascalhelmer / Pixabay

Here are the basic cleaning rules for the house and beyond, which should be followed during the potential threat of infection.

  • Wootton says you don’t have to worry about soft surfaces, but you should pay more attention to places you often come into contact with, such as door handles and cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • If you go to the gym, after use, wipe the dumbbells, fitness equipment and other equipment that you used after you. According to Michael Chang, the wet wipes found in most rooms really work. As a rule, they combine isopropyl alcohol, which kills bacteria, and / or benzalkonium chloride, which copes with both dirt and viruses.
  • After cleaning, it is important not to wipe the surface dry, but let it dry on its own – alcohol or other active ingredients take time to get rid of the virus.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued house cleaning and disinfection instructions. Although conventional cleaning does not kill bacteria or viruses, it allows you to remove them, which minimizes the possibility of infection. Disinfection involves the complete extermination of bacteria.
  • It is recommended that you first get rid of the dirt with a detergent, and then walk on hard surfaces with diluted bleach or an alcohol solution with a concentration of at least 70%. Cleaning must be carried out with gloves; when working with chemicals, do not forget to ventilate the room.
  • Be prepared to clean often – at least once a day.
  • When washing, use the maximum temperature allowed for the fabric. If your machine has a drying mode, use it. Remember that coronavirus does not tolerate heat and dryness.

Update : A  new study  has provided more accurate data specifically for SARS-CoV-2. So, the causative agent of the new virus lives up to 20 hours on cardboard, up to 50 on steel and up to 70 on plastic.

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