Coronavirus is particularly dangerous because of its rapid spread through droplets. By sneezing, coughing and even physical contact infected people can infect others with the COVID-19 virus in a short time. It is also possible to get infected even without the participation of another human being – contact with the surface touched by the infected person may be sufficient. The virus can appear on objects in our homes, so very strong emphasis is placed on systematic hygiene. How long can coronavirus survive in the air, and how long on clothes and packages? Let s check.
How long Coronavirus lasts in the air?
Studies by scientists from the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University and the University of California in Los Angeles have shown that coronavirus can last in the air for several hours. Scientists used a special machine called a nebulizer that imitates cough of an infected person. The device spread the virus in the form of an aerosol in a chamber at a temperature of 21-23‘C and humidity of 65%. Samples were then taken regularly every 30, 60, 80, 120 and 180 minutes. It turned out that after three hours the virus was still in the air. The researchers also pointed out that if the SARS-CoV-2 virus is similar to other coronaviruses, then it should not survive long at temperatures above 30‘ outside human body. At the moment, however, these are only guesses.
How long does virus last on a package?
Research on coronavirus has also been conducted in the context of pathogen persistence on specific surfaces such as plastic, metal or cardboard. Tests took place at 21-23‘C and 40% humidity. Scientists have shown that coronavirus lasts the longest on stainless steel (48 hours) and plastic (72 hours). The pathogen lasted for the shortest time on copper – only for 4 hours. On the other hand, coronavirus remained on the cardboard surface for approximately 24 hours. So if you receive a package from a courier, disinfect its surface before opening. Also remember to regularly disinfect all items in your environment with alcohol-based agents. This step will ensure safety for you and your loved ones.
Is Coronavirus present on clothes?
Regarding the issue of persistence of coronavirus on clothes, the research has not yet provided specific answers. Specialists at Harvard Medical School suspect that the virus is more likely to survive on hard surfaces than on clothing material. Patent leather seems to be the safest material in this respect. For your own safety, it is recommended to wash clothes at a temperature of at least 60‘C after each return home. This temperature is deadly for the vast majority of viruses known to science. For clothes and materials that can be damaged at such a high temperature, you can instead set a longer washing program. Remember that only by following the above mentioned steps can you survive the viral period without getting infected.