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This is how long Covid-19 can survive on your hands

CAPE TOWN – A recently published study found that Covid-19 can survive on the skin for up to nine hours.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues with infections still spreading, the importance of washing your hands remains a vital protective measure with experts finding SARS-CoV-2 able to survive on your hands for several hours.

A study report published in Clinical Infectious Disease shares their findings on SARS-CoV-2 capable of surviving on the skin for up to 9 hours which is around 8 hours longer than the Influenza A virus and able to survive on surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and plastic for up to 11 hours compared to the flu’s hour and a half span.

SARS-CoV-2 can survive for 11.09 hours if it comes in contact with saliva or mucus on the skin, but according to the study, ethanol treatment could inactivate the virus within 15 seconds.

“This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 may have a higher risk of contact transmission than IAV(Influenza A Virus) because the first is much more stable on human skin than the former. These findings support the hypothesis that proper hand hygiene is important for the prevention of the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” it said in the study.

With an average working day of nine hours, this points at to the possibility of an outbreak within an office or working environment in the case of someone who has come in contact with SARS-CoV-2 particles and goes without washing their hands.

With early warnings and prevention, people have been urged to frequently wash their hands to help protect themselves and other, but as the study warns, the survival of the virus on human skin has accelerated the pandemic.

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