The coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 disease, can survive and be contagious on a variety of surfaces, such as banknotes, telephone screens, and stainless steel, for up to 28 days, scientists say.
The results of a study conducted by the Australian Institute of Science, CSIRO, were published in the Virology Journal indicate that the coronary virus can survive on contact surfaces much longer than previously thought.
The main known routes of transmission of the virus are when people cough, sneeze, or talk to each other. However, experts believe that the virus can also be transmitted through the air and that it can be transmitted through common contact surfaces, such as plastic and metal surfaces.
Previous research has indicated that the virus can only survive for two to three days on banknotes, and glass and up to six days on plastic and stainless steel. It should be noted that the number of days varies between studies, but they are all similar.
However, the results of the latest research in this area, conducted by CSIRO, indicate that the virus can live for up to 28 days on flat surfaces such as glass on phone screens and banknotes. However, it is bound that the contact surfaces are always at a temperature of about 20 degrees.
In comparison, the influenza virus lives in similar conditions for about 17 days.
The results also indicate that the virus lives shorter at higher temperatures, but it ceases to be contagious after 24 hours at a temperature of 40 degrees on some contact surfaces. It was then more contagious on smooth surfaces, but on uneven surfaces such as on clothing, the virus ceased to be contagious after fourteen days.
The authors of the article say that the results explain to some extent why group infections have occurred in places where temperatures are low, for example in meat industry spaces. Thousands of meat industry workers around the world have been diagnosed with the virus.