A new study has given the world some insight on how long the COVID-19 coronavirus lives on surfaces and in the air.
The study comes from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Scientists experimented by simulating the spread of the virus from infected people to various surfaces found in homes and hospitals. Additionally, they used a clever device that emitted an aerosol to duplicate the same type of microscopic droplets released when coughing and sneezing.
The conclusion of the study seems to have discovered quite a lot of information that people have been wondering since the outbreak began. For one, COVID-19 is infectious for upwards of 3 hours when released through a cough or sneeze, though its half life is around 66 minutes. In other words, after those 66 minutes, only half of the particles remain infectious.
That number goes up considerably on cardboard, which remains infectious for up to 24 hours and has a half life of 3 hours and 30 minutes. But plastic is worst of the bunch, as the virus can remain viable on its surface for up to 3 days with a half life of 6 hours and 49 minutes.
COVID-19 has now infected over 250,000 people worldwide and resulted in the deaths of nearly 10,500. The World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic, leading to full shutdowns of some countries and strict travel bans and heavy restrictions on mass socialization in others. To help stop the spread of the virus, places like Disneyland have shut down, theaters around the world have closed their doors to the public, most sports seasons have been delayed, and the vast majority of major entertainment events like concerts and expositions have been canceled or postponed indefinitely.
And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will be getting any better anytime soon, with the coronavirus still spreading pretty rapidly. As such, be sure to take all necessary precautions to keep yourself safe and stay tuned for further updates on the situation.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine