Coronavirus is destructive on two fronts – the direct threat it poses to human life and the fear it sows in its wake. The latter makes the former worse, however, as fear can paralyse people’s sense-making abilities and allow false information to spread. False information can drive you to make decisions that put you in harm’s way so it is important to counter any myths with the current evidence-based knowledge.
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that virus is detectable for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
“This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain,” said James Lloyd-Smith, a co-author of the study and a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
He added: “If you’re touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands.”
To arrive at this verdict, the study attempted to mimic the virus being deposited onto everyday surfaces in a household or hospital setting by an infected person through coughing or touching objects, for example.