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Another reason not to be afraid of parcels from China
Scientists analyzed how long coronaviruses live on various surfaces and to which antiseptics they are sensitive.
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Scientists from the University of Greifswald and the Ruhr University in Bochum analyzed the results of 22 studies on the persistence of coronaviruses on surfaces and the effects of disinfectants on them. This review was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection.
Since there is no specific therapy against the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus, its prevention is of particular importance to prevent an epidemic. In the spread of this virus, like all droplet infections, unwashed hands and contaminated surfaces play an important role.
“In hospitals, this can be, for example, door handles, but also call buttons, bedside tables, bed frames and other items in the immediate vicinity of patients, which are often made of metal or plastic,” explained co-author of the review Günter Kampf.
The review focuses on other, previously well-studied, coronaviruses: the causative agents of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It was found that these viruses live on average 4-5 days, but at room temperature they can persist on the surface and be dangerous for up to 9 days.
“Low temperatures and high humidity will further increase their lifespan,” Kampf said.
Tests with various disinfectant solutions have shown that agents based on ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and sodium hypochlorite are effective against coronaviruses. When applied at appropriate concentrations, these agents reduce the number of active coronaviruses by several orders of magnitude within one minute (for example, from 1,000,000 to 100 pathogenic particles).
The use of drugs based on other active substances is possible if their effectiveness against enveloped viruses has been proven. Such funds can potentially significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Since “various coronaviruses were analyzed and all the results were comparable,” scientists believe that the findings can be applied to the new virus.