Coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours

The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison.

A new study conducted by the Japanese scientists has suggested that the coronavirus survives on skin five times longer than flu: it remains active for nine hours. The study highlights the importance of frequent handwashing to combat the virus.

Scientists noted, “The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes COVID-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic.”

“The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk.”

For the study, scientists tested skin collected from autopsy specimens, about one day after death. Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitizers.

Hence, the author urges to maintain hygiene and washing hands as much as possible to reduce the risk.

The study was published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.

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