Coronavirus can survive 28 days on some surfaces

The novel coronavirus can survive on common surfaces for up to 28 days, according to an Australian study published Oct. 12 in Virology Journal.

Researchers at Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, examined SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — in the dark at three temperatures, showing survival rates decreased as conditions became hotter. 

Researchers also found that the virus at 68 degrees Fahrenheit was "extremely robust" on smooth surfaces — like cellphones and other touch screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel, and paper and plastic banknotes. At 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the survival rate dropped to seven days and 24 hours at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The virus survived for shorter periods on porous surfaces, such as cotton.

"This doesn't mean to say that that amount of virus would be capable of infecting someone," 

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, told Australian public broadcaster ABC. He said infectious people are still "far more infectious than surfaces," but if a person was "careless with these materials and touched them and then licked your hands or touched your eyes or your nose, you might well get infected upwards of two weeks after they had been contaminated."

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