How long can a virus live out­side a body?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Q & A -

Viruses can live for a sur­pris­ingly long time out­side of a body, de­pend­ing on con­di­tions such as mois­ture and tem­per­a­ture. They tend to live longer on water-re­sis­tant sur­faces, such as stain­less steel and plas­tics. A cold virus can some­times sur­vive on in­door sur­faces for sev­eral days, although its abil­ity to cause in­fec­tion drops dra­mat­i­cally over time. Flu viruses can sur­vive in the air for sev­eral hours, es­pe­cially at lower tem­per­a­tures, and on hard sur­faces they can sur­vive and re­main in­fec­tious for 24 hours. En­teric viruses, such as norovirus and hep­ati­tis A, can sur­vive for weeks on a sur­face if con­di­tions are suit­able. ED

The norovirus is known for caus­ing sick­ness out­breaks

in schools, cruise ships and hos­pi­tals

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