Japanese study: coronavirus can survive on skin much longer than flu

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Tokyo - (PanOrient News) A team of researchers in Japan recently found that the coronavirus can survive on skin for nine hours, while influenza lasted only 1.8 hours. They also found that alcohol-based disinfectant quickly deactivated the virus, reported the Mainichi Shimbun.

The researchers, who included epidemiology specialist Ryohei Hirose from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, published their study this month in the American science journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The team used skin samples from a body donated for a medical autopsy so as to not infect anybody. In addition to skin, the scientists also tested stainless steel, heat-resistant glass and plastic – finding that the coronavirus lasted between 58 and 85 hours on these surfaces, while influenza A only survived up to 11 hours.

“It appears that the relatively long time in which the new coronavirus can survive on human skin is among the background factors making it difficult to confirm infection routes,” Hirose quoted by the Mainichi as saying. “If it's staying active for nine hours, then it's difficult to prevent infections from touch. There's only so much that individual efforts can accomplish, so it's important not to blame people who do become infected.”

While the results on the survivability of the coronavirus may be discouraging, the research reconfirmed the efficacy of alcohol-based disinfectants or ethanol at an 80% concentration, which reportedly deactivated both the coronavirus and the flu in about 15 seconds. PanOrient News

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