This is how long these ten pathogens survive on surfaces

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This is how long these ten pathogens survive on surfaces


There is great concern about an infection with the corona virus and the uncertainty that it will become infected, among other things, on surfaces and leads to the sale and theft of disinfectants. Which pathogens survive where for how long?



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Covid-19


Viruses and bacteria enter the organism in different ways. They spread either via droplets – such as corona, influenza and normal cold viruses – or by smear infection. This also brings surfaces to the focus of contagion. How long will the coronavirus, influenza virus or other common germs survive there? And how do you protect yourself from them? Here is an overview of ten important germs:

Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2

Survival on surfaces: derived from known corona viruses, probably for several days

  • American researchers from the National Institute of Health and the CDC Disease Protection Agency go in one pre-published study assume that Sars-CoV-2, like related Sars corona types, can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard and paper, two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, and four hours on copper.
  • In an overview study, researchers from the University of Greifswald and the University of Bochum found that individual representatives of coronaviruses – such as the SARS and MERS coronavirus – can remain infectious on surfaces for up to nine days at room temperature. On average, they survive four to five days, according to the evaluation from 22 studies. This is not known for the novel virus Sars-CoV-2. However, the experts consider the results from the tests of other corona viruses to be transferable to it.

Infection route:

  • mainly droplet infection
  • A transmission via inanimate surfaces has so far been documented rather theoretically and not securely: for an infection, infectious droplets would have to reach the respective surface, hold another person there and then touch the mouth, nose or eye. Washing your hands offers good protection against this.

Prevention:

  • Hand hygiene (washing with water and soap already protects well)
  • Cough label – so cough or sneeze in the crook of the arm
  • Keep 1-2 meters away from the sick
  • refrain from shaking hands

Norovirus

Survival on surfaces: up to seven days

  • at least 50,000 people become infected in Germany every year
  • Excretion of viruses via stool and vomit
  • The risk of becoming infected with the virus is extremely high: 10 to 100 virus particles are sufficient for infection (comparison: with salmonella, the infectious dose is 10,000 to one million cells)

Infection route:

  • Transmission takes place fecal-orally
  • through direct transmission from person to person
  • through the oral intake of virus-containing droplets
  • by hand contact with contaminated surfaces such as carpets, door handles or sinks
  • about contaminated food (salads, sprouts and other raw foods) or contaminated water

Prevention:

  • Consistent hand hygiene: wash hands and then disinfect with virucidal disinfectants
  • Disinfection of areas close to the patient, toilets, wash basins, door handles with suitable disinfectants
  • For disinfection, preparations with proven efficacy with the range of activity “limited virucidal PLUS” or “virucidal” are suitable

Influenza (real flu)

Survival on surfaces: 2 days

Infection routes:

  • Droplet infection, especially coughing or sneezing
  • Transmission also possible via hands and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and telephones, which are contaminated by virus-containing secretions if the hand subsequently comes into contact with the eye, mouth or nose
  • How long influenza pathogens survive on which surface depends on the subtype of the virus and factors such as temperature and humidity. Basically, low temperatures and high air humidity represent optimal living conditions.

Prevention:

  • do without handshake
  • wash your hands
  • Cough label – so cough or sneeze in the crook of the arm
  • in the immediate vicinity of affected surface cleaning with virucidal disinfectants

Rotavirus

Survival on surfaces: 8 weeks

  • after the norovirus, the most common trigger for intestinal diseases – especially in children.

Infection route:

  • fecal-oral mainly due to smear infection, but also due to contaminated water and food
  • is very easy to transfer; 10 virus particles are enough to infect a child

Prevention:

  • Since July 2013, routine rotavirus vaccination has been recommended for infants under the age of six months
  • consistent hand hygiene, hand disinfection
  • Disinfection of areas close to the patient and frequent hand contact surfaces (e.g. door handles) as well as toilets and wash basins
  • For disinfection, preparations with proven efficacy with the range of activity “limited virucidal PLUS” or “virucidal” are suitable

Campylobacter

Survival on surfaces: up to 6 days

  • Food germ
  • most common cause of intestinal diseases after noro and rotaviruses

Infection route:

  • When thawing frozen poultry and game, collect the thawing water separately and dispose of it immediately and rinse with hot water
  • Prepare potentially contaminated food for consumption on plastic boards

Prevention:

  • Heat food completely (10 minutes over 70 degrees)
  • Put the cutting board, knife and used utensils in the dishwasher
  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Keep raw meat and sausages, poultry, sea animals, eggs, creams, salads and mayonnaises with raw egg and ice cream in the fridge

Staphylococcus aureus

Survival on surfaces: 7 days – 7 months

  • known as MRSA as an antibiotic-resistant bacterium
  • generally harmless to healthy people

Infection route:

  • direct contact, rarely via droplet infection
  • in hospitals and care facilities by hands e.g. of nursing and medical staff
  • Germ is then transmitted through the skin and mucous membranes and can trigger deep skin soft tissue infections
  • rarely infections can occur over surfaces such as plastic materials and stainless steel alloys, e.g. through catheters or with joint replacement

Prevention: At MRSA, special protective measures apply in hospitals that go far beyond normal hygiene measures

Salmonella

Survival on surfaces: up to four years

Infection route:

  • on the consumption of contaminated food, e.g. not sufficiently heated eggs, egg-containing dishes, raw poultry meat, but also pork and other raw meat products, e.g. Minced meat
  • over surfaces that came into contact with contaminated food

Prevention:

  • When thawing frozen poultry and game, collect the thawing water separately and dispose of it immediately and rinse with hot water
  • Prepare potentially contaminated food for consumption on plastic boards
  • Heat food completely (10 minutes over 70 degrees)
  • Put the cutting board, knife and used utensils in the dishwasher
  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Keep raw meat and sausages, poultry, sea animals, eggs, creams, salads and mayonnaises with raw egg and ice cream in the fridge

Streptococci

Survival on surfaces: six months

  • can cause infections such as middle ear, sinus, throat or tonsillitis
  • Caries, scarlet fever and wound rose are also caused by certain species

Infection:

  • Smear infection from coughing and sneezing or droplets containing excitement on objects that are passed on directly from person to person (e.g. pacifier)
  • Transmission through direct contact with wounds

Prevention:

  • Don’t suck the pacifier
  • Cough etiquette
  • Hand hygiene

Escherichia coli

Survival on surfaces: 1.5 hours – 16 months

  • widespread faecal germ can be found on many surfaces, from displays to touch screens, towels, coffee machines
  • most of the tribes are harmless
  • only a few can cause urinary and gastrointestinal infections, wound and respiratory infections

Infection route:

  • Smear infection – or fecal-oral

Prevention:

  • pay attention to hand hygiene, especially after using the toilet, before preparing meals, before eating after contact with animals (zoo visit etc.)
  • When preparing meals, make sure that kitchen utensils such as cutting boards and knives or even hands that have been in contact with raw meat do not come into contact with other foods or kitchen utensils

Special feature: Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC for short) are among the most dangerous strains of E. coli because they form a toxin that can lead to kidney damage, kidney failure and even death after ingesting contaminated food, for example.

Listeria

Survival on surfaces: 1 day – 1 month

  • Bacteria occurs in the soil, in surface water, waste water and on plants, but also in raw milk products and raw meat and sausages
  • can multiply at temperatures between -2 ° C and 45 ° C (including refrigerator temperatures!)

Infection route:

  • on consumption of contaminated foods such as smoked fish, raw milk and raw milk products, cheese, raw sausage and raw minced meat

Prevention:

  • Appropriate food (especially vacuum-packed) should be consumed as soon as possible after purchase and absolutely before the expiry of the stated minimum shelf life, because storage in the refrigerator can lead to an increase in Listeria
  • Risk groups, especially pregnant women and patients with serious underlying diseases or immunosuppression, should refrain from eating raw meat products (Mett) and raw sausage (salami), raw fish, smoked and marinated fish products and raw milk soft cheese

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