Japanese researches have found that the novel coronavirus can survive on human skin for up to nine hours which shows the need for frequent hand washing to combat the pandemic.
The study that was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on 3 October compared the survival times of the coronavirus and influenza A (flu) virus (IAV). The IAV remained active on human skin for nearly two hours.
“The 9-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, thus accelerating the pandemic. Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections,” the study said.
The research emphasises the importance of washing hands or using a hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Both the COVID-19 virus and the IAV were “completely inactivated” within 15 seconds of applying ethanol, the study said.
The stability of the coronavirus on human skin, however, remains unknown.
“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 study said.
According to the researchers, another limitation of the study is that only one strain of coronavirus and one strain of influenza were used.
Both SARS-CoV-2 and IAV could be ‘inactivated’ faster on human skin than other surfaces such as stainless steel, plastic or glass. The survival time of SARS-CoV-2 was approximately 8-fold that of IAV on these surfaces.
The researchers used human skin specimens collected no more than one day after the death for the study.
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