The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces including mobile phones and banknotes for up to four weeks, according to new research.
Australia’s national science agency CSIRO found that Sars-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” at 20C (68F), or room temperature
The study also found that the virus survived longer at lower temperatures.
Researchers said the virus survived longer on smooth surfaces such as glass and stainless steel compared with porous surfaces such as cotton.
They also found the virus survived longer on paper banknotes than plastic banknotes.
A previous study in The Lancet in April found that SARS-Cov-2 could not be detected on glass or banknotes after four days or seven days for stainless steel.
However, the research was conducted in a dark area which negates the effects of UV light, as studies have shown direct sunlight can rapidly inactivate the virus.
Dr Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said: “Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular handwashing and cleaning surfaces.
“At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes.
For context, similar experiments for Influenza A have found that it survived on surfaces for 17 days, which highlights just how resilient SARS-CoV-2 is.
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