Left undisturbed, the new coronavirus can survive many hours on human skin, a new study has found.
To avoid possibly infecting healthy volunteers, researchers conducted lab experiments using cadaver skin that would otherwise have been used for skin grafts.
While influenza A virus survived less than two hours on human skin, the novel coronavirus survived for more than nine hours. Both were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends using alcohol-based hand rubs with 60% to 95% alcohol or thoroughly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Studies have shown that COVID-19 transmission largely occurs via aerosols and droplets.
Still, the authors of the new study conclude in a report published on Saturday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, “Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections.”
These findings support the hypothesis that proper hand hygiene is important for the prevention of the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
Thus, this study may contribute to the development of better control strategies in the context of COVID-19 to prevent the occurrence of future waves of this pandemic.