The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers discovered, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pathogen that causes influenza survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours in comparison, according to the study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the viral strain that causes Covid-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission compared to IAV (influenza A virus), thereby accelerating the pandemic, ”he said. .
The research team tested the skin taken from autopsy samples, about a day after death.
Both the coronavirus and the influenza virus are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitizers.
“Longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases the risk of contact transmission; however, hand hygiene may reduce this risk,” the study said.
The study supports World Health Organization guidelines for regular and thorough hand washing to limit transmission of the virus, which has infected nearly 40 million people worldwide since it emerged in China at the end from last year.