How long do viruses live on different surfaces? Many diseases are transmitted via droplet and smear infections, for example via doorknobs, light switches or paper. Read here on which surfaces viruses survive for a particularly long time.
Viruses can survive on different materials for different lengths of time. This is the result of the study “Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1”, which was carried out by a research group led by Neeltje van Doremalen, Trenton Bushmaker and Dylan H. Morris and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
How long do viruses live on different surfaces?
This shows that the causative agent of the novel corona virus can survive in the air we breathe for up to 3 hours after an infected person has coughed or sneezed. The stability of the pathogen on plastic, stainless steel, copper and cardboard was also tested, and the list below will Answer the question: how long do viruses live on different surfaces?
- Stainless steel : COVID-19 viruses survive up to 48 hours on stainless steel.
- Plastic : Coronavirus pathogens survive up to 72-100 hours on plastic and plastic.
- Glass: COVID-19 pathogens survive on glass for up to 9 days.
- Copper : copper is known for its antiviral effects. Nevertheless, COVID-19 pathogens can survive on copper for up to 4 hours.
- Paper and cardboard : The SARS CoV-2 pathogen lasts up to 24 hours on paper or cardboard.
In general, COVID-19 viruses can last longer in a cold and humid environment than in warm and dry conditions.
In addition to the corona virus, many other viruses, such as the flu or SARS , are also transmitted by droplet or smear infection. In the case of contaminated surfaces , the transmission takes place if you touch yourself or others – for example children – in the face after they have picked up the pathogen on a contaminated surface.
Viruses on doorknobs and light switches
Droplet infection is the main route of transmission for flu and COVID-19, but according to the Robert Koch Institute , transmission of the coronavirus over contaminated surfaces cannot be ruled out .
Door handles and light switches are particularly stressed : on the one hand, these places in the home and office are highly frequented, on the other hand, viruses and especially COVID-19 pathogens on glass, plastic and stainless steel survive for a particularly long time, as outlined in the study “Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 ” .
To protect yourself from a smear infection , you should avoid touching your face. Regular hand washing and adherence to the cough etiquette , i.e. coughing and sneezing in the elbow, are still the best methods to protect yourself from infection.
Thorough cleaning or disinfection of high-traffic surfaces offers additional protection . For example:
- light switch
- Steering wheels
- Door handles on car doors
- Soap dispenser
- Shopping carts
- Elevator buttons
Cleaning with detergent against corona pathogens
Like many viruses, for example, pathogens of the corona virus are surrounded by a “protective shield” made of fats . By washing your hands thoroughly with soap, you not only remove the pathogens, but even switch them off , since the soap destroys the layer of fat. The same principle applies to fat-soluble cleaning agents, with which you can remove viruses from surfaces and render them harmless .
A lot helps a lot – this principle does not apply here. You do not have to use the most aggressive cleaner , because a soapy solution with a mild detergent will do the trick if you wipe the surfaces thoroughly.
Used correctly, detergent works just as well as disinfectants when cleaning surfaces . However, make sure that sensitive surfaces are not damaged by cleaning.
You should also regularly disinfect your smartphone, computer mouse and keyboard. We explain what to look out for.
Warning: Never mix different household cleaners! This can create dangerous gases that can lead to death or massive damage to the airways.
Corona transmission through food and pets?
Transmission through contaminated foods such as fruits and vegetables is unlikely. Nevertheless, you should wash the food thoroughly before eating – not only to protect against corona, but also to remove residues of dirt and pesticides.Warm water is all you need to wash food. Additional cleaning with detergent or the like is not necessary.
There is an all-clear for all animal lovers: According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pathogen cannot be transmitted by farm animals, cats or dogs . In addition, there is no evidence that pets and farm animals can become infected with the virus strain, which is dangerous for humans. For hygienic reasons, wash your hands after playing or petting your pet.