Source: Washington – France Press
The emerging coronavirus may live for hours outside the human body on different surfaces or even in the air, according to a study published on Tuesday. The authors of this study, which is funded by the US government, found that the virus that causes the Covid 19 pandemic has a survival capacity compared to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
This could mean that the extent of the Covid 19 pandemic (much greater than the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003) is linked to being more easily transmitted from a disease carrier with no symptoms to another person.
The study was published in the “New England Journal of Medicine” and conducted by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of California, Los Angeles and Princeton.
Their experiments showed that the emerging coronavirus can be monitored for up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel surfaces, and up to 24 hours on cardboard.
The researchers also used sprays to spread the virus in the air, and they discovered through this technique that traces of the virus in the form of aerosols, that is, particles suspended in the air, remained in the air for three hours.
This study has been criticized so that experts believe that the use of sprays does not effectively simulate a patient’s cough, and it also increases the risk of artificial airborne pollution.
The virus is transmitted mainly through small drops that patients take out when they cough or sneeze, in which case it is viable for only a few seconds.
The team responsible for the current study conducted similar tests on the SARS virus, and found that the two viruses are similar at this point. This does not explain why Covid 19 has infected about 200,000 people with nearly 8,000 deaths, while SARS has infected only 8,000 people and killed 800 patients.
The authors of the study say the differences between the two epidemics “may be caused by other factors such as high viral load in the upper respiratory tract” and the ability of patients without symptoms to transmit the emerging corona virus.