COVID-19: Researchers In Japan Say Coronavirus Can Stay Active On Human Skin For 9 Hours

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In the latest coming in on the novel coronavirus front, researchers in Japan have now inferred that the dreaded virus can remain active on human skin for nine long hours which is much longer than what flu viruses can.

Published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the study aimed to evaluate the “stability” of the virus that causes COVID-19 on human skin and compared it to a strain of the Influenza A virus (IAV).

Researchers from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan found that SARS-CoV-2 stayed active on human skin grafts for nine hours as compared to IAV which survived on skin for only two hours.

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“We evaluated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV), mixed with culture medium or upper respiratory mucus, on human skin surfaces and the dermal disinfection effectiveness of 80% (w/w) ethanol against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV,” the researchers pointed out in the study.

Highlighting the importance of frequent hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, researchers said both SARS-CoV-2 and IAV became inactivated within 15 seconds under an ethanol (alcohol) treatment.

“The 9-h survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, thus accelerating the pandemic. Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections,” the researchers observed.

The study is in sync with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for regular and thorough hand washing to limit transmission of the novel coronavirus, which has infected nearly 40 million people worldwide since it first emerged in China. The coronavirus tally in India has crossed the 75 lakh mark already.

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