New Coronavirus Survives Nine Hours on Human Skin

By Reuters Staff

October 08, 2020

(Reuters) - Left undisturbed, the new coronavirus can survive many hours on human skin, a new study has found.

To avoid possibly infecting healthy volunteers, researchers conducted lab experiments using cadaver skin that would otherwise have been used for skin grafts. While influenza A virus survived less than two hours on human skin, the novel coronavirus survived for more than nine hours.

Both were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends using alcohol-based hand rubs with 60% to 95% alcohol or thoroughly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Studies have shown that COVID-19 transmission largely occurs via aerosols and droplets. Still, the authors of the new study conclude in a report published on Saturday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, "Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections."

SOURCE: Clinical Infectious Diseases, online October 3, 2020.