To disinfect or not: no known spread of coronavirus across surfaces by WHO
No cases known to the World Health Organization (WHO) SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Infections with touching public surfaces. However, the organization still recommends disinfection of such surfaces. This edition writes DW with reference to new WHO hygiene recommendations.
The organization mentions numerous studies on the survival of the virus on surfaces. According to one of them, coronavirus can survive on certain surfaces for up to several days. We have prepared infographics based on one of the reports of scientists. It can be seen below.
At the same time, WHO advises caution on such studies, as they held in laboratories, not in real life. In the field, the virus is strongly affected by sunlight and humidity. For example, at a temperature of 21-24 degrees Celsius and a humidity level of 80 percent, the “half-life” of a virus particle that appears on the surface in a drop of human saliva is 2 minutes, and for the same particle in air and 20 percent humidity it is about one and a half minutes. More detailed results of this study can be found. here.
At the same time, the WHO emphasized that researchers have experience in the functioning of other types of coronaviruses that survive on different surfaces and a person may be infected by touching. Therefore, the organization advises not to refuse disinfection.
At the same time, WHO recommends not to spray disinfectants in clinics, shops, offices and homes, as well as outdoors, as is done in several Asian countries. Disinfectants can be hazardous to humans, chemicals like chlorine can cause eye and skin irritation, respiratory and digestive problems.
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