Washing hands important! Study reveals coronavirus can stay on skin for 9 hours

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New Delhi: According to a recent study it is revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 may stay on human skin for nine hours, much longer than the flu virus can do. The influenza A virus (IAV), in comparison stay alive on human skin for nearly two hours as stated by the researchers including those from Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan. These findings stresses on the importance of the hand washing or using sanitizers frequently to prevent the spreading of the Covid-19.

“We generated a model that allows the safe reproduction of clinical studies on the application of pathogens to human skin and elucidated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on the human skin,” the researchers wrote in the journal.

The study found that SARS-CoV-2 and IAV were inactivated more rapidly on skin surfaces than on other surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and plastic. The survival time was significantly longer — 9 hours — for SARS-CoV-2 than for IAV (1.82 hours), according to the researchers. “The nine hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, thus accelerating the pandemic,” the researchers wrote in the journal. “Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections,” they said.

In the early stages of the pandemic, research indicated that the virus survives longer on smooth surfaces like copper, glass and stainless steel. It could linger on copper surfaces for upto 4 hours, on cardboard for upto 24 hours and can survive on glass and plastic surfaces for approximately 72 hours.

However, according to a report in Live Science, similar research was not carried out on human skin for ethical reasons.

This is why the Japanese study did not conduct the experiment on people but on skin grafts from autopsies in laboratory conditions. These samples had been taken one day after death.

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