Coronavirus survives on skin five times longer than flu, study finds

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Coronavirus survives on skin five times longer than flu, study finds




A woman walks past graffiti promoting hand washing and the use of covid-19 masks in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, on August 13, 2020


© Simon MAINA
A woman walks past graffiti promoting hand washing and the use of covid-19 masks in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, on August 13, 2020


The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, five times longer than the flu virus, according to a group of Japanese researchers, a discovery that demonstrates the need for frequent hand washing to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

By comparison, the pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours, according to the study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“The Nine-Hour Survival of SARS-CoV-2 [el virus que causa el covid-19] on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission compared to IAV [virus de la gripe A], thus accelerating the pandemic “, indicates the study.

The research team examined the skin obtained from autopsies, approximately one day after death.

Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated in 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitizers.

“Longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 in the skin increases the risk of transmission by contact; however, hand hygiene may reduce this risk,” the study noted.

The study supports the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to regularly wash your hands thoroughly to limit transmission of the virus, which has infected nearly 40 million people worldwide since it first appeared in China. late last year.

hih / gle / pc / zm

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