Jan 07 , 2021
As the pandemic progresses, increasing numbers of people have been wary of coming into contact with surfaces, on the understanding that the virus may have the potential to survive in a dormant state on frequently-touched surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, escalator grab rails and more. Researchers have been working frantically across the globe to learn more about this novel virus, in an effort to aide the creation of both an effective vaccine and a cure.
Recent research has also been investigating the relative lifespan of the virus on surfaces, to evidence the requirement for frequent sanitisation in addition to wearing masks, to slow the spread of Covid-19.
A new, cautious way of life
Naturally, people have become wary of touching surfaces with their bare hands, in recognition of the potential for the virus to spread from person to person via wood, metal, glass and other materials. People in the community are using sleeves, elbows and disposable gloves when in communal areas, in an effort to remain free of the virus. In those areas where the virus has really taken a strong hold, governments have deployed sanitisation workers to spray down public places including parks, streets and plazas to slow down the spread.
Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through miniscule droplets which issue from individuals who are infected, when they cough or sneeze. The act of coughing can cause up to three thousand tiny droplets, which are then free to spread on to nearby surfaces, while the smaller droplets can stay in the air. This is understandably leading to caution when it comes to regularly sanitising surfaces, and being much more reluctant to touch areas which may have come into contact with an infected individual.
Scientists at the Imperial College, London, have identified that DNA which was deposited on a hospital bed rail spread over a ten hour period to eighteen additional surfaces. While the researchers didn’t conduct the study with the Coronavirus, they deployed a virus which affects plants. The virus was able to spread to waiting rooms, books, toys and a play area, and door handles. The study shows just how prevalent the virus could be, through surface transmission.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a statement which suggests that Covid-19 is not primarily spread from person to person through touching an infected surface, and then touching the face. Instead, it spreads in the main through contaminated droplets going from one person to another, as they cough or talk. Despite this, the CDC and World Health Organisation have called for intensified cleaning in communal areas, using sanitiser spray to combat lingering droplets of the virus on frequently-touched areas.
How long does it live on surfaces
Covid-19 researchers have indicated that while they do not know the precise duration that the virus can live outside of a human host, similar diseases including Mers and Sars can live on certain surfaces like metal, plastic and glass for up to nine days without proper disinfection. According to what is known so far of these viruses, they have the ability to linger for up to a month in low temperature environments.
The most effective way of preventing this is by using a product such as our Surface Disinfectant or Alcohol wipes which contains the required percentage of alcohol to kill the virus in less than a minute. With what we understand of the Coronavirus to date, this is the recommended guidance for people to follow, to mitigate the potential risks of lingering droplets on communal surfaces.