New findings in the New England Journal of Medicine has given us a better understanding about how long the coronavirus can survive outside the human body. The stability of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and SARS-CoV-1 ( the most closely related human coronavirus) was studied in aerosols and on various surfaces. The researchers then estimated their decay rates and compared. The study covered five environmental conditions aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard .
US National Institute of Health (NIH) Virologist Neeltje van Doremalen and other researchers in Montana published their findings Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Some studies on other coronaviruses found survival rates on metal, plastic and glass of up to 9 days (without being disinfected).
This new study showed the virus can survive for 24 hours on cardboard and 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces. The researchers found the virus only lived on copper surfaces for about four hours. They also found the virus could survive for three hours when coughed in the air.
The authors of the paper were from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Princeton University, University of California, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.