Coro­n­avirus can sur­vive more than 9 hours on hu­man skin

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Sports - IS­TAN­BUL / DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS

IF LEFT undis­turbed, the coro­n­avirus (SARS-CoV-2) can sur­vive many hours on hu­man skin, once again high­light­ing the im­por­tance of prac­tic­ing proper hand hy­giene and reg­u­lar dis­in­fect­ing dur­ing the pan­demic.

A new study con­ducted by Ja­panese re­searchers at the Ky­oto Pre­fec­tural Univer­sity of Medicine found that the novel coro­n­avirus could sur­vive more than nine hours on the skin. The study also com­pared the coro­n­avirus’ sur­vival ca­pa­bil­i­ties to the in­fluenza A virus (IAV), and in com­par­i­son, the in­fluenza strain only man­aged to live about 1.8 hours on the skin on av­er­age, more than four times shorter than the coro­n­avirus.

“Th­ese re­sults in­di­cate that SARS-CoV-2 has markedly higher sta­bil­ity on hu­man skin than that of (in­fluenza A virus),’ the au­thors wrote. The re­searchers con­cluded that this find­ing may “in­crease the risk of con­tact trans­mis­sion” with the coro­n­avirus, thus ac­cel­er­at­ing the pan­demic.

To avoid pos­si­bly in­fect­ing healthy vol­un­teers, the re­searchers said they con­ducted lab experiment­s us­ing ca­daver skin that would oth­er­wise have been used for skin grafts and that was ob­tained 24 hours prior. How­ever, they also dis­cov­ered that both the coro­n­avirus and IAV in­ac­ti­vated more rapidly on the skin than on other sur­faces such as stain­less steel, glass, or plas­tic. Pre­vi­ous re­search had re­ported that the coro­n­avirus re­mained vi­able for up to 72 hours on sur­faces.

Both viruses were also killed within 15 sec­onds by hand san­i­tizer con­tain­ing 80% al­co­hol. The study was pub­lished in the jour­nal Clin­i­cal In­fec­tious Dis­eases on Oct. 3

The U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion (CDC) cur­rently rec­om­mends us­ing al­co­hol-based hand rubs with 60% to 95% al­co­hol or thor­oughly wash­ing hands with soap and wa­ter for at least 20 sec­onds. Stud­ies have shown that COVID-19 trans­mis­sion largely oc­curs via aerosols and droplets.

“Th­ese find­ings sup­port the hy­poth­e­sis that proper hand hy­giene is im­por­tant for the preven­tion of the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Thus, this study may con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of bet­ter con­trol strate­gies in the con­text of COVID-19 to pre­vent the oc­cur­rence of the sec­ond or third waves of this pan­demic,” the au­thors noted.

A boy washes his hands at Ed­u­ca­tional Play­care, in Glas­ton­bury, Con­necti­cut, U.S., Aug. 27, 2020.

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