How long does Novel Coronavirus survive outside our body?

How long does Novel Coronavirus survive outside our body?

Last Reviewed : 12/23/2020
How long does Novel Coronavirus survive outside our body?

Novel Coronavirus spreads from coughing and sneezing. Another major route of transmission is by touching fomites. Fomites are objects or materials that carry infection. Clothes, furniture, cell phone, doorknobs and faucets are some common fomites that can spread infection. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets can settle down on the fomites. When a healthy individual touches these fomites and touches his or her nose, eyes or mouth, infection can rapidly spread to the healthy individual. Touching fomites is a common way of spreading infection in public places like airports, bus stations, grocery stores or bars.

Novel Coronavirus can survive outside the human body from few hours to several days. Survival rate of the virus depends on the type of the surface. Based on a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, experiments were performed on plastic, stainless steel, copper and cardboard. Apparently, the virus was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard. Coronavirus was found in a significant amount of titers on plastic up to 72 hours. On stainless steel, it was found in significant titers up to 48 hours. On copper, no viable virus was measured after 4 hours. On cardboard, no viable virus was measured after 24 hours.

There were similar studies performed on other strains of Coronavirus. Results were similar and in few instances, virus survived for several days. This study demonstrates how fomites can propel the spread of infection in communities.



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