Study shows how long coronavirus stays alive on common materials

Researchers figure out the infectious periods of coronavirus on cardboard, metal and plastic.

Study shows how long coronavirus stays alive on common materials

Coronavirus

Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
  • A new study tested how long coronavirus stays infectious on surfaces like plastic, cardboard and metal as well as air.
  • The results show that the virus can live from hours in air to several days on steel.
  • The research underscores the importance of cleaning household and hospital areas and objects.

A new study provided some valuable information about how long coronavirus survives on different surfaces, showing that it stays alive for quite a long time on some common materials. As the disease spreads through air and contaminated objects, the findings help understand the measures that need to be taken to contain it.

For the study, the researchers tried to duplicate how a virus could be spread on surfaces by an infected person in a home or hospital setting. They dispensed an aerosol of microscopic droplets on surfaces that could end up contaminated through coughing or touching.

Here's a list of the finding by the scientists, showing how long the coronavirus survives:

AIR (aerosols) - 3 hours

COPPER - 4 hours

CARDBOARD - 24 hours

PLASTIC - 2 to 3 days

STAINLESS STEEL - 2 to 3 days

The study's co-author James Lloyd-Smith, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, cautioned that the virus is very hard to contain because it is easily "transmissible through relatively casual contact," adding "If you're touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands."

Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces around your house and public spaces is also of paramount importance. Neeltje van Doremalen from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which was also involved in the study, recommended using cleaning solutions with diluted bleach as an additional possibility.

6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19

Take steps to lower your risk of getting sick with COVID-19. Here are some things you should do.

The study's full list authors includes UCLA, the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Princeton University.

Check out this research in the New England Journal of Medicine.

What You Need To Know About Handwashing

What early US presidents looked like, according to AI-generated images

"Deepfakes" and "cheap fakes" are becoming strikingly convincing — even ones generated on freely available apps.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington

Magdalene Visaggio via Twitter
Technology & Innovation
  • A writer named Magdalene Visaggio recently used FaceApp and Airbrush to generate convincing portraits of early U.S. presidents.
  • "Deepfake" technology has improved drastically in recent years, and some countries are already experiencing how it can weaponized for political purposes.
  • It's currently unknown whether it'll be possible to develop technology that can quickly and accurately determine whether a given video is real or fake.
Keep reading Show less

Catacombs of Paris: The city of darkness finds its new raison d'être

Ancient corridors below the French capital have served as its ossuary, playground, brewery, and perhaps soon, air conditioning.

Excerpt from a 19th century map of the Paris Catacombs, showing the labyrinthine layout underground (in color) beneath the straight-lined structures on the surface (in grey).

Credit: Inspection Générale des Carrières, 1857 / Public domain
Strange Maps
  • People have been digging up limestone and gypsum from below Paris since Roman times.
  • They left behind a vast network of corridors and galleries, since reused for many purposes — most famously, the Catacombs.
  • Soon, the ancient labyrinth may find a new lease of life, providing a sustainable form of air conditioning.
Keep reading Show less

Baby's first poop predicts risk of allergies

Meconium contains a wealth of information.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that the contents of an infants' first stool, known as meconium, can predict if they'll develop allergies with a high degree of accuracy.
  • A metabolically diverse meconium, which indicates the initial food source for the gut microbiota, is associated with fewer allergies.
  • The research hints at possible early interventions to prevent or treat allergies just after birth.
Keep reading Show less
Mind & Brain

Big think: Will AI ever achieve true understanding?

If you ask your maps app to find "restaurants that aren't McDonald's," you won't like the result.

Quantcast