Coronovirus Persistence

Covid-19 is too new for much in the way of reliable information. However, a recent study looks at the SARS and MERS viruses and draws some important conclusions:

  • Coronoviruses can persist on inanimate surfaces such as tabletops and door knobs for up to 9 days at average temperatures. Over 86 degrees F, their infectious life is shorter. On some surfaces, they can remain infectious for up to 28 days.
  • Hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, and sodium hypochlorite (a chemical in bleach) can deactivate coronaviruses if left on the surface for one minute.
    • “Hydrogen peroxide was effective with a concentration of 0.5% and an incubation time of 1 minute.”
    • “Surface disinfection with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite or 62–71% ethanol significantly reduces coronavirus infectivity on surfaces within 1 min[ute] exposure time.”

Simply wiping a surface isn’t sufficient. That’s true for other bacteria and viruses as well. The chemical cleaner has to sit in place for at least one minute before wiping. Simply wiping down tables like baristas do in most coffee shops can remove obvious dirt, but does nothing for bacteria or viruses.



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