Two recent studies have uncovered important new information on the Coronavirus.
One study found that fragments of the coronavirus that are no longer infectious can still linger on surfaces that were wiped down with bleach for as long as eight days. The other study determined the virus can live on the skin for up to 9 hours.
According to Newsweek, the authors of the first study, the mSystems paper, also claim that evidence suggests the coronavirus can stay active on surfaces for days and go on to infect people.
The authors wanted to assess how well methods to collect samples of the virus from surfaces found in buildings actually worked. The research is intended to help ensure buildings are properly cleaned and kept virus-free.
In their research, the group used a virus that was not infectious and couldn’t replicate as a stand-in for the coronavirus to contaminate different surfaces. The seven surfaces used in the study included bare stainless steel, stainless steel painted with white acrylic paint, a plastic known as PETG, and fiber-reinforced plastics that are sometimes used to create walls in offices.
368 samples from the contaminated surfaces were measured to see how easy it was to recover the virus. Eight days after the objects were dosed with the virus, the surfaces were wiped down with bleach and sampled again.
“In some cases, noninfectious viral fragments of SARS-CoV-2 persisted on surfaces for as long as 8 days even after bleach treatment,” the authors reported.
According to the team, the viral fragments on the surfaces tested negative. This result suggested the surfaces weren’t carrying the virus or were carrying at levels too low to be picked up by the equipment.
Scientists are working to gain a deeper understanding of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. A separate team of researchers published a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that suggested the virus can stay stable on human skin for up to nine hours.
To conduct the study, scientists took human skin samples from cadavers. They swiped the samples with the coronavirus, as well as a strain of the flu, and found that coronavirus survived on the skin longer than the flu, at approximately 9 hours versus the flu’s 1.8 hours.
“These results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 has a markedly higher stability on human skin than that of IAV [flu],” the researchers wrote.