Coronavirus survives 9 hours on skin, five times longer than flu, study finds

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The coronavirus remains active on the skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found who confirm the need for frequent hand washing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

In comparison, the pathogen that causes influenza survives on the skin for about 1.8 hours, says the study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“The nine hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the strain of the virus that causes Covid-19 disease) on human skin may increase the risk of transmission by contact compared to the IAV (Influenza A Virus or influenza A), thus accelerating the pandemic, ”says the study. Japanese researchers tested skin samples taken from autopsy specimens about a day after death.

Hand hygiene

The coronavirus and influenza virus are both inactivated within 15 seconds by the application of ethanol, used in hand sanitizers. “Longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases the risk of transmission by contact, but hand hygiene can reduce this risk, ”said this study.

The study supports the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for regular and thorough washing of hands to limit the transmission of the virus. At least 1,105,691 deaths and nearly 39.4 million infections have been recorded since the start of the pandemic in China at the end of last year.





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