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Coronavirus can last 28 days on glass and currency, study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for frequent cleaning and handwashing.

FILE PHOTO: Commuters ride a train in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Findings from the study by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), the SARS-CoV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and the glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, the influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher, Shane Riddell.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the study built on previous experimental studies used to draw up its existing guidance on handwashing and disinfection of surfaces.

“The persistent detection of SARS-CoV-2 … in the experimental conditions from this study is not unexpected and informs our understanding of virus survivability,” April Baller, a WHO infection prevention and control expert, said in an emailed response to Reuters, adding that this would not change WHO recommendations at this time.

INFECTIOUS TRACES MEASURED

Paul Digard, a virology specialist at Britain’s Edinburgh University Roslin Institute, said it was significant that the researchers had measured infectious virus, not just detectable bits of virus, but added that it was also key to remember that the infectivity decays over time.

“So the amount of virus surviving at 28 days is very low and is therefore likely to be much less likely to infect someone than the higher amounts present when the virus is freshly deposited,” he said in an emailed comment.

The study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees Celsius showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light because research has shown that direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world, results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said, given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help to explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments such as meat-packing plants.

Additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London

Coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for frequent cleaning and handwashing.

Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment, the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit), the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and the glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, the influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher, Shane Riddell.

Paul Digard, a virology specialist at Britain’s Edinburgh University Roslin Institute, said it was significant that the researchers had measured infectious virus, not just detectable bits of virus, but added it was also key to remember that the virus’ infectivity decays over time.

“So the amount of virus surviving at 28 days is very low and is therefore likely to be much less likely to infect someone than the higher amounts present when the virus is freshly deposited,” he said in an emailed comment.

The study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton, and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light, as research has shown direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments like meat-packing facilities.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

Additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London, editing by Stephen Coates and Giles Elgood

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Novel coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, Australian study finds

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.

FILE PHOTO: Commuters ride a train in Sydney, Australia, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Findings from the study done by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, appear to show that in a very controlled environment the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found.

CSIRO researchers found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, Influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

“It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitising where possible and certainly wiping down surfaces that may be in contact with the virus,” said the study’s lead researcher Shane Riddell.

The study involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then recovering the virus over a month.

Experiments done at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed the virus survived longer at cooler temperatures, longer on smooth surfaces than on complex surfaces such as cotton, and longer on paper banknotes than on plastic banknotes.

“So heading into summer that’s certainly going to be an important factor that the virus won’t last as long in the warmer temperatures,” Riddell said, referring to the upcoming southern hemisphere summer.

All the experiments were done in the dark to remove the impact of ultraviolet light, as research has shown direct sunlight can kill the virus.

“So in the real world results would likely be shorter than what we were able to show,” Riddell told Reuters.

Researchers said given that proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times, their study may help explain the apparent persistence and spread of the virus in cool environments like meat-packing facilities.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with a total of about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported six new cases on Monday, five of whom were returned travelers in quarantine.

Reporting by Sonali Paul and Stefica Nicol Bikes; Editing by Stephen Coates

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Novel coronavirus survives 28 days on glass, currency, Australian researchers find

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.

Researchers at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, found that at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, Influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

CSIRO’s research involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then extracting the virus after a month.

Experiments done in controlled laboratory environments at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed that the survival time declined as the temperature increased.

“Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread and do a better job of protecting our people,” CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said in a statement.

Proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times.

“The research may also help to explain the apparent persistence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in cool environments with high lipid or protein contamination, such as meat processing facilities, and how we might better address that risk,” said Trevor Drew, director of the CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with a total of about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicentre of the country’s second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported six new cases on Monday, five of whom were returned travelers in quarantine.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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