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How Long Does the Novel Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Biology   |   Health   |   Science  
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What surfaces does the novel coronavirus stick to, and for how long?
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As the novel coronavirus accelerates across the United States, and we continue to practice social distancing, you might find yourself staring at countertops, door handles, and packages wondering if theyre safe to touch, or whether they could use one extra Clorox wipedown.

While SARS-CoV-2 spreads most effectively from person-to-person, if you touch surfaces you fear could be contaminated, avoid touching your face because you can infect yourself through your mouth, nose, and eyes. And wash your hands as soon as possible as washing your hands thoroughly with soap destroys the virus.

And while there is limited scientific literature on the subject of what surfaces the novel coronavirus lingers on the longest, were here to address what we do know about how long the virus can exist on different surfaces.

One study from the National Institutes of Health (that at the time we published this was available in preprint) examined how long can the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can remain viable on a few common fomites, or materials which can transmit the infection.

The fomites that were tested include copper, stainless steel, cardboard, and one of the most common plastics called polypropylene, which is used to package food, for tote bags, and exists in many kitchen items.

Find out where the virus tends to linger and for how long in this Elements.

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