American Study Shows Covid-19 Remains Infectious For Hours In Air & Days On Surfaces
As Covid-19 escalates into a global pandemic, scientists are actively studying the virus and researching ways to combat it.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States is one of the institutions contributing to these efforts.
Recently, researchers at the institute conducted a study on how long the virus remains viable – or ‘active’ – in the air and on other surfaces. In other words, how long the virus stays infectious.
Scientists develop device to mimic droplets excreted when coughing
To conduct the research, scientists developed a device that imitates the microscopic droplets one expels when coughing or sneezing.
These droplets containing the Covid-19 bug were subsequently deposited on surfaces and in the air.
Scientists then tested how long the viable virus stays active in the respective mediums.
Covid-19 infectious in air for 3 hours
According to the study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday (17 Mar), viruses stay viable for up to 3 hours when carried by droplets suspended in the air.
However, doctors cautioned that this does not mean the virus is airborne, considering that conditions differ in the lab and in real life.
It gets worse when it comes to solid surfaces.
On plastic and stainless steel surfaces, ‘active’ viruses were detected even after 3 days.
Cardboard surfaces weren’t as bad. Viable viruses were not detected after 24 hours.
For illustration purposes
Somehow, it took just 4 hours for the virus to become inactive on copper surfaces. Perhaps it’s time to start making our tables using copper — ha ha.
Highlights the importance of frequent disinfecting
If true, the results from this study are indeed concerning, and highlights the importance of frequent disinfecting.
As individuals, we should also maintain good hygiene by washing our hands with soap regularly and to seek medical treatment ASAP if feeling unwell.
With the amount of research being done, let’s hope scientists will soon be able to find a breakthrough that will put an end to this Covid-19 outbreak.
Featured image adapted from Malay Mail.
Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.