Covid-19: Study reveals virus remains active on skin for nine hours

Japanese researchers conclude that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus remains active on the skin for nine hours, against 1,8 hours for the pathogen that causes the flu. This long duration reinforces the need to wash hands frequently to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

A study by Japanese researchers found that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus remains active on the skin for nine hours, thus confirming the need to wash your hands frequently to fight the covid-19 pandemic.

In comparison, the pathogen that causes flu survives on the skin for about 1,8 hours, says the study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the strain of the virus that causes covid-19 disease) on human skin can increase the risk of transmission by contact compared to IAV (influenza A or influenza A virus) , thus accelerating the pandemic ”, say the study authors.

Japanese researchers tested skin samples taken from autopsy specimens about a day after death.

Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated in 15 seconds by the application of ethanol, used in hand sanitizers.

"The increased survival of SARS-CoV-2 in the skin increases the risk of transmission through contact, but hand hygiene can reduce that risk," say the researchers.

The study supports the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for regular and thorough hand washing to limit the transmission of the virus.

Covid-19 has caused more than 1,1 million deaths in 39,4 million infected people since the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease, was first detected in a city in central China, in December 2019.

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