A Japanese study has found that the novel coronavirus can survive on human skin significantly longer than the influenza virus but can be quickly inactivated using ethanol.
The research of the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine found that SARS-CoV-2 survived on human skin for about 9 hours, while the survival time of the influenza A virus was about 1.8 hours. The longer survival on the skin of the coronavirus means the risk of contact transmission is higher and underlines the importance of hand hygiene.
According to the study, both SARS-CoV-2 and the influenza A virus are completely inactivated within 15 seconds by applying 80% ethanol to the skin. As ethanol-based disinfectants quickly inactivate the coronavirus, they could reduce the high risk of contact infections and help prevent the spread of the pandemic.
The study was published in October in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
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Image by Jernej Furman licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.