A current study by an Australian research team shows that the novel coronavirus can survive on surfaces for much longer than previously researched. The ambient temperature and the type of surface play an important role here.In spring, scientists reported that the coronvirus a maximum of two to three days on surfaces made of glass or on banknotes and for up to six days on steel surfaces can stay active.
However, a recent study by an Australian research team now shows that the virus can survive on surfaces for much longer than expected.
“Touchscreen devices such as smartphones, ATMs, shopping carts or self-service checkouts in supermarkets are touch-sensitive surfaces that may not be cleaned regularly and pose a risk of transmission,” Professor Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Center for Disease Preparation, told the broadcaster ‘ABC‘.
Coronavirus survives on surfaces for 28 days
The study the Australian science agency CSIRO, which was published in the ‘Virology Journal’, examined the survival time of the novel coronavirus.
According to this, the SARS-Cov-2 can remain active for up to 28 days, especially on smooth surfaces such as smartphones and certain banknotes.
Coronavirus is temperature sensitive
However, the results also make it clear that the survival time of the virus is strongly dependent on the ambient temperature.
The higher the temperature, the shorter the coronavirus survive on surfaces.
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The Australian researchers found that the virus is extremely robust at 20 degrees Celsius – a normal working temperature in many professions, for example in slaughterhouses, warehouses or car repair shops.
At this temperature, the pathogen is able to survive a total of 28 days on glass, banknotes, on surfaces made of plastic or steel.
At 30 degrees the lifespan was drastically shortened – instead of 28 days, the virus was only active for seven days, at 40 degrees just 24 hours.
According to the results, however, the coronavirus is active for much less than that on smooth surfaces, especially on porous surfaces such as cotton.
It can therefore be assumed that the pathogen survives on clothing such as coats or gloves, depending on the temperature, between 14 days and less than 16 hours.
Main transmission through coughing and sneezing
Mainly the novel virus is caused by Aerosols transmitted – especially when someone sneezes or coughs in the immediate vicinity, the risk of infection is highest.
However, you could still become infected if you touch a contaminated surface and then don’t wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face, nose or mouth – even two weeks later after the device or the device is contaminated Surface.
“That’s why regular use of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer makes a difference,” said Professor Drew.
The Lancet; A. W. H. Chin et al. (2020): Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions, abgerufen am 12.10.2020:, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(20)30003-3/fulltext
Viroloy Journal; S. Riddell et al. (2020): The effect of temperature on persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on common surfaces, abgerufen am 12.10.2020:, https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12985-020-01418-7