According to a new study, the new coronavirus or 2019-nCoV (officially named the COVID-19) can easily survive on inanimate objects for about week’s time. That is, if the virus itself is anything like its relatives from the coronavirus family tree.
How long can the new coronavirus survive on inanimate objects?
Originating from an assorted meat market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the new coronavirus managed to make a name for itself as a new global epidemic, killing hundreds and infecting thousands. However, a lot is still unknown about the virus. In fact, besides the fact that it came from an animal and the multiple ways that people can get infected, not much is understood about it, which is why researchers are looking at similar viruses such as SARS and MERS in order to shed some more light at it.
“It’s currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” per the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, a review that covered 22 studies about human and veterinary viruses within this family discovered that human pathogens can survive on surfaces and remain infectious at room temperature for up to nine days. Of course, that’s already on the upper end of their life span, yet considering that on average, they can persist for about four to five days, that’s still a lot.
In fact, some of the veterinary ones (which can only infect animals) can even persist for longer than 28 days.
“Low temperature and high air humidity further increase their lifespan,” Günter Kampf, physician at the Greifswald University Hospital, said.
“Different coronaviruses were analysed, and the results were all similar,” Eike Steinmann, virologist from Leibniz University Hanover, added.
However, none of the studied viruses were COVID-19 since much is still unknown about it. As such, the researchers recommend to wash our hands often, as well as to make sure public areas are disinfected often.
Per the researchers, this is a small price to pay for safety.