16 Oct SARS-CoV-2 Can Remain Viable on Surfaces Longer Than Originally Thought
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Shane Riddell MSc
CSIRO—Australian Animal Health Laboratory
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: While it is generally considered that SARS-CoV-2 is spread via aerosol and respiratory droplets, we still need to investigate how much of a role fomites play in transmission.
Understanding the risk first requires you to know how long the virus can survive on a surface. We therefore wanted to assess how long the virus would remain viable on various common surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and banknotes. We found that, under controlled conditions, we could recover infectious virus at 28 days for all non-porous surfaces at 20 degrees Celsius. When the temperature was raised to 40 degrees Celsius, SARS-CoV-2 only remained viable for 24hrs on most surfaces.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The study demonstrates the virus is capable of remaining viable on a surfaces for longer periods than originally thought however, the key messages remain the same. Wash your hands often, sanitise with an alcohol based rub if washing isn’t an option (i.e. when you are out of the house), regularly clean surfaces that are in high use areas and avoid touching your face in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We still don’t know what the infectious dose is for SARS-CoV-2, so determining that will help us further understand the possible role and risk of fomite transmission.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: It’s important to note that this study was performed under controlled conditions in a laboratory, there are many factors such as UV (sunlight), humidity and the type of fluid the virus is suspended in that can all play a significant role in how long the virus can survive on a surface. Regardless of how long the virus could survive in real life, maintaining good hygiene practice is critical in reducing the spread of the virus.
Shane Riddell, Sarah Goldie, Andrew Hill, Debbie Eagles, Trevor W. Drew. Virology Journal, 2020; 17 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12985-020-01418-7
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