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New study says COVID can survive on skin for 9 hours

The COVID-19 virus (or SARS-CoV-2) can survive on human skin for nine hours, which is much longer than flu viruses can, a new study from Japan revealed.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on October 3, aimed to evaluate the “stability” of the virus that causes Covid-19 on human skin and compared it to a strain of the Influenza A virus (IAV). It is yet to be peer-reviewed.

Researchers from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan, found that SARS-CoV-2 lingered on human skin grafts for nine hours while IAV survived on skin for only two hours.

“We evaluated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and IAV, mixed with culture medium or upper respiratory mucus, on human skin surfaces and the dermal disinfection effectiveness of 80% (w/w) ethanol against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV,” the researchers noted in the study.

The study maintained that since COVID survives on human skin for a long time, it may “increase the risk of contact transmission” and this could further “accelerate the pandemic”.

Virus inactivated on human skin quicker than other surfaces

Both the COVID-19 virus and the influenza A virus were “completely inactivated” within 15 seconds of applying ethanol, the study said. This emphasizes the importance of washing hands and using alcohol-based sanitizers to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The coronavirus is known to survive even longer on inanimate surfaces.

In March, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a study saying that the virus can last up to four hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard, and 72 hours on stainless steel.

In the air, the virus can last for about three hours, the NIH said.

Sources: MSN, National Institutes of Health and Infectious Diseases Society of America

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