Coronavirus can remain in air for 3 hours, live on plastic for days, new study says

A new study suggests that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 can remain in the air for up to three hours, and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days.

The research, published in the medRxiv depository, also notes that the virus can remain on copper surfaces for four hours and carboard for up to 24 hours. The research found it could stay on stainless steel and plastic for anywhere between two and three days.

“Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for multiple hours and on surfaces up to days,” the researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

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Another study published in February concluded that if COVID-19 is similar to other coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS, it could live on surfaces like metal, glass and plastic for up to nine days, Fox News previously reported. By comparison, the flu virus can only live on surfaces for approximately 48 hours.

That study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, suggested that coronaviruses could be “efficiently inactivated” with disinfectants that contain “62–71 percent ethanol, 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute,” adding that other agents that contain “0.05–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02 percent chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective.”

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Currently, there is no specific medicine to cure or treat COVID-19.

More than 127,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally, including over 80,000 in China and 1,323 in the U.S., according to the latest data.

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Fox News’ Madeline Farber contributed to this story.

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