Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Hanging Around

For how long does the SARS-CoV-2 virus persist on surfaces?

07 April 2020

Hanging Around

Within a matter of months, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has emerged in China and spread all over the world, causing widespread disruption and thousands of deaths. One important piece of information to help stop the spread is knowing how long the coronavirus hangs around on different everyday surfaces at home or in hospitals. Using lab techniques that mimic the spread of virus from an infected person, researchers have found coronavirus (here in yellow on cells) present in airborne droplets for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The best way to prevent the disease spreading is to wash your hands frequently, disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe, avoid close contact with infected people, and stay at home to protect yourself, your family and your community.

Written by Kat Arney

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