Sydney, October 2020. According to a newly published Australian study, the coronavirus can survive much longer on smooth surfaces than previously assumed. The Australian science authority Csiro (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) describes the results in the journal “Virology Journal”: the virus can survive for up to 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and vinyl.

Infectious for 28 days

Under ideal laboratory conditions (20 degrees Celsius), the virus can survive up to one month on smooth surfaces such as cell phones, plastic banknotes, and ATMs. In a controlled environment, the virus remained infectious for longer than other studies have found before. The study was conducted in the dark, as research has already shown that sunlight quickly kills the coronavirus. Furthermore, the study showed that the coronavirus adheres less well to porous surfaces (such as cotton) than to smooth surfaces (such as glass).

Covid-19 extremely robust

In earlier studies, the virus could be found for up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Other studies confirmed nine days. Now it turns out that the virus is extremely robust. Similar experiments for the case of influenza A (for comparison) have shown that this virus survived for 17 days on surfaces. The study shows how vigorous the coronavirus is.

Long lifespan on glass

An important finding is the lifespan of the viruses on the material glass. For the simple reason that e.g. ATMs, self-service checkouts in supermarkets and check-in machines at airports have glass surfaces that are often touched by different people throughout the day.  There is a possibility that these surfaces may not be cleaned regularly or thoroughly.

Coronavirus and surfaces

Covid-19 spreads by droplet infection. However, the virus can also spread via hands and surfaces that are touched frequently. Das Ärzteblatt, a German medical journal, explained in February what kind of surfaces that can be in hospitals: e.g. door handles, but also bells, bedside tables, bedsteads and other objects in the direct vicinity of patients.

Infection prevention

Therefore, it is important to frequently wash your hands and clean all surfaces thoroughly. Additionally, antimicrobial surface coatings such as the ActiveCoat service can help in preventing infections. The coating actively reduces the bacterial load on frequently used surfaces, particularly smooth surfaces such as those identified as potentially dangerous to health in the Australian study. Smear infections from surfaces that have previously been contaminated cannot be ruled out.