Japanese researchers have revealed that coronavirus remains on the human skin for nine hours, stressing the need for frequent hand washing to combat the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
The pathogen that causes the flu, by comparison, survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours, said the study, published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.
The study backs World Health Organisation guidance for regular and thorough hand washing to limit transmission of the virus.
“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes COVID-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic,” the study underscored.
“The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk,” the study said.
Both the contagious diseases, the COVID-19 and the flu virus, are inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitisers.