Quixplained: How long can coronavirus survive on surfaces?

Findings from the study by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass, and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said last week, highlighting the need for frequent cleaning and handwashing. Findings from the study by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the study built on previous experimental studies used to draw up its existing guidance on handwashing and disinfection of surfaces. “The persistent detection of SARS-CoV-2 … in the experimental conditions from this study is not unexpected and informs our understanding of virus survivability,” April Baller, a WHO infection prevention and control expert, said in an emailed response to Reuters, adding that this would not change WHO recommendations at this time.


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