The corona virus can live on human skin for up to nine hours – up to four times longer than the flu can live on our hands or face, new study finds
- The researchers mixed samples of corona virus and influenza A virus with human skin samples obtained from an autopsy 24 hours earlier.
- The flu virus survives on the skin for less than two hours, while the corona virus survives for up to nine hours.
- Both viruses were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand cleaning with 80% alcohol
- The team says the findings show how the risk of contact with the corona virus rather than the flu and the importance of hand washing
The corona virus novel can survive for up to several hours on human skin, according to a new study.
In laboratory tests, the researchers examined the carcass skin, which would otherwise have been used for skin grafting.
The virus survives for nine hours, four times longer than the influenza A virus.
A team from the University of Kyoto Prefectural Medicine in Japan says that information about the survival time of the virus on the skin can help develop approaches to prevent it from spreading through contact and shows how important hand washing is.
The researchers mixed samples of corona virus and influenza A virus with human skin samples obtained from autopsies 24 hours earlier (above).
The influenza virus survives on skin cells for less than two hours, while the corona virus survives for up to nine hours (above).
Both viruses were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand cleaning with 80% alcohol. Image: Medical staff attending to a patient infected with the corona virus in the ICU at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Sula Vista, California, May 12
The authors wrote that ‘the persistence of acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARSCoV-2) in human skin is unknown, considering the risks posed by the virus to humans.’
‘We have developed a model that allows clinical studies on the use of pathogens on human skin to safely reproduce and clarify the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in human skin.’
For research, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, The team obtained human skin from forensic autopsy samples 24 hours earlier.
Researchers also say that cats need to be included in any precautionary measures against the virus.
Skin cells mixed with samples of corona virus and influenza virus A, which also spread through droplets and human contact.
The results showed that the flu virus lived on the skin for about 1.8 hours.
In comparison, the lifespan of the corona virus in human skin is about nine hours, which is considerably longer than that of the influenza strain.
‘These results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 has significant stability in human skin [influenza A virus], ‘The authors wrote.
When mixed with mucus from upper respiratory tract samples, the corona virus lived for about 11 hours, compared with 1.69 hours for the flu virus.
Both viruses were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by a hand cleaning machine containing 80 percent alcohol.
Currently, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using alcohol-based hand rubs containing 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol or washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Studies show that COVID-19 transmission often occurs through aerosols and droplets.
However, the authors conclude: ‘This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 may be more dangerous than transmission. [influenza A virus] Because the first is more stable on human skin than the previous.
These findings support the hypothesis that proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
‘Therefore, this study may contribute to the development of better control strategies in the context of COVID-19 to prevent the occurrence of a second or third wave of this infection.’