COVID-19 active on skin for 9 hours

WHO has called for regular and thorough hand-washing to limit transmission of Covid-19. Photo: Pixabay pic

Japanese researchers found that the coronavirus remains active on human skin for up to 9 hours, and they found that this finding indicates the need to wash hands frequently to fight the pandemic.

In contrast, the study published this month in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases” shows that the pathogen that causes influenza can survive on human skin for approximately 1.8 hours.

“Compared with IAV (Influenza A virus), SARS-CoV-2 (the strain that causes Covid-19) survives on human skin for 9 hours. That may increase the risk of contact transmission, thereby accelerating the pandemic.”

The research team tested skin collected from autopsy samples taken about a day after death.

By using ethanol, Covid-19 and influenza viruses can be inactivated within 15 seconds, and ethanol is used for hand disinfection.

The study said: “The longer life span of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases the risk of contact transmission. However, hand hygiene can reduce this risk.”

It supports the World Health Organization’s guidance on regular and thorough hand washing to limit the spread of this virus. The virus has infected nearly 40 million people worldwide. Since the virus has first appear in China at the end of last year.

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Coronavirus active on skin for 9 hours, Japan study finds

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