Coronavirus Stays In Aerosols For Hours, On Surfaces For Days

What is Corona

Covid-19 or the Corona virus has taken away many lives and is showing no signs of stopping. Who would have thought, a few months ago, that we would have been struck by a global pandemic with such a huge magnitude?Since we do not have a vaccine or an antiviral treatment for this virus, we must encourage and support all research centers that are working to find a vaccination for Covid-19 or are making massive strides to understand the nature of the virus.

Making Comparisons with SARS

The SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic of 2003 was found to have many comparisons with the ongoing Coronavirus. The transmission of SARS-CoV-1 causes the SARS epidemic, while the transmission of Sars-CoV-2 causes the transmission of the Coronavirus. The stability and nature of SARS-Cov-1 and SARS-CoV-2 are identical.

However, the transmission of Covid-19 has now climbed way over that of the SARS epidemic of 2003. The spread of the SARS epidemic had occurred through infections that occurred during medical processes. The spread of SARS and Corona occurs from the respiratory droplets of a primary infected individual.Their spread is extraordinarily dynamic and can spread from various settings of human interaction.

Experimentation Process

This similarity was utilized to understand how long Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 remained infectious while in the environment.The research was conducted by Neeltje van Doremalen and his colleagues from NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) situated in Hamilton, Montana. They performed various experimentation to view the time frame it took for SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 to be unpresent on surfaces and aerosols. In the experiment, patients who were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 were utilized. The patients secreted viral loads in the form of aerosols (less than five μm) and droplets (more than five μm). They used nebulizers to produce aerosols. Samples were taken at intervals of 30 minutes up to 3 hours. Gelatin filters were used for the collection process. The infectivity was tested on Vero cells that were grown in the culture.The researchers also tested out both the viruses on many different surfaces for up to 1 week.They used temperature and humidity values to compensate for real-life scenarios. It is important to note that the viral exposures that were used were in consideration with the amounts that are found in the respiratory tracts of an affected person.

Outcomes

The results showed that SARS-CoV-2 remained stable in aerosols throughout the 3-hour test. A slight decline occurred after 3 hours. This draws a similarity to SARS-CoV-1 as both viruses had an aerosol median half-life of 2.7 hours. The SARS-CoV-2had a range of 7.24 hours.The researchers had used 50 microliters of a solution that contained the virus and applied it to different surfaces. The same surface was sampled thrice to reduce the error.

Interestingly, Corona was found to be most stable on plastic and stainless steel. It stayed viable up to a staggering three-day time frame. Once the viral load had decreased three times to that of the original, an exponential decrease was observed.Once again, the results were similar to that of the SARS-CoV-1.

The difference, however, was observed on surfaces such as copper and cardboard.SARS-CoV-2 was undetectable after 4 hours on copper and 24 hours on cardboard. While SARS-CoV-1 was undetected for both copper and cardboard after 8 hours. Neeltje van Doremalen and his team concluded that “Taken together, our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 [SARS-CoV-2] is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for multiple hours and on surfaces up to days.”

Further Inferences

The performed test, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) that was used to detect the Coronavirus on aerosols and surfaces, may have detected the presence of viral load. However, it is not able to detect whether the virus was still infectious or not. The test may have focused on an infectious virus, but we are still not aware of how much infectious virus is required to transfer the infection into another person. Further investigations were done for surfaces such as ceramic tiles and desks that are found in household kitchens and bathrooms.

Can Corona Spread be Reduced?

The discoveries stress the significance of handwashing and sanitizing as often as possible, especially after making contact with a surface. Viruses can live on for a time on surfaces outside the human body; we know that from the research conducted above.As indicated by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it might be conceivable to get the virus, SARS-CoV-2, by contacting a surface that has the virus on it and contacting your face.

In any case, SARS-CoV-2 spreads, from an individual to another through droplets (respiratory)that are created when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. As the strength of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be like that of the SARS infection, researchers are still not sure why COVID-19 has prompted a bigger outbreak. Around 8,000 individuals in 26 nations were found infectious during the 2003 SARS epidemic.

Staying Safe During this Outbreak

Apart from washing hands with an alcohol hand rub and disinfecting surfaces and objects that are touched frequently (make sure you use a household cleaning wipe or spray for disinfection), it is important to avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes. Avoid close contact with other people.

More importantly, staying at home at a time like this is the best option. If you find yourself sick, take extra precautions, and get yourself tested for Covid-19. Other safety precautions include covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue paper and getting rid of the tissue paper by throwing it in a trash.

The Bottom line: Covid-19

The world has been brought down to its knees by a virus. This global pandemic was declared a Health Emergency on January 30. We do not have an antiviral treatment for Covid-19, and hence the importance of taking safety precautions is much higher.Stay quarantined and educate others of the sheer magnitude of this global pandemic. ‘Waiting it out’ is perhaps our only and best option. Stay safe!

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