The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, which causes COVID-19 disease, can remain on smooth surfaces for much longer than previously thought. As it turned out, on glass, including smartphone screens, banknotes and metal, the new virus can “live” for up to 28 days – 11 days longer than the flu virus. This was warned by scientists from the State Association for Scientific and Applied Research Australia (CSIRO).
As part of the experiment, SARS-CoV-2 samples were applied to objects that are most often found in everyday life – stainless steel, glass and vinyl, cotton fabric, paper and polymer banknotes. Experiments have shown that the new type of coronavirus is “extremely resistant” in comparison with other viruses, writes Virology Journal.
At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, SARS-CoV-2 remained active for up to 28 days. At 30 degrees of heat, the virus lasted no longer than a week, and when the air was heated to 40 degrees, it died on most of the studied surfaces within a couple of days.
True, the experiments were carried out under strictly controlled conditions: maintaining a constant temperature and humidity level, as well as in complete darkness, in order to exclude the influence of ultraviolet radiation on the survival of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the experiment did not use fresh mucus, which, together with the virus, can get on objects when a sick person touches them.
For this, scientists were criticized by Ron Eccles, the former head of the Center for the Study of Colds at Cardiff University. According to him, the study “whips up unnecessary fear in society,” since “infectious viruses remain in the mucus on the surface for only a few hours, not days.”
In any case, it is better to take precautions, because users pick up smartphones several dozen or even hundreds of times a day and often bring them to their faces.