Researchers from Japan have found in their study that SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19)—can stay on human skin for nine hours.
According to their study, which was published in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal in early October, SARS-CoV-2 remains active on human skin longer than flu virus, which survives for 1.8 hours less. Researchers have tested skin collected from cadavers that died a day before.
Experts added that both the flu and COVID-19 virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol—a chemical widely present in hand sanitizers—reiterating further the need for regular handwashing and hand disinfection.
“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes COVID-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic,” the study said.
“The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk,” it added.