(Rachael Rettner/ LiveScience) —The new coronavirus can linger on human skin much longer than flu viruses can, according to a new study from researchers in Japan.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, remained viable on samples of human skin for about 9 hours, according to the study. In contrast, a strain of the influenza A virus (IAV) remained viable on human skin for about 2 hours.
Fortunately, both viruses on skin were rapidly inactivated with hand sanitizer.
The findings underscore the importance of washing your hands or using sanitizer to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“This study shows that SARS-CoV-2 may have a higher risk of contact transmission [i.e. transmission from direct contact] than IAV because the first is much more stable on human skin [than the latter]” the authors wrote in their paper, which was published online Oct. 3 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. “These findings support the hypothesis that proper hand hygiene is important for the prevention of the spread of SARS-CoV-2.” (…)