How long does the coronavirus live on a surface?

Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 8:25 AM EDT
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With the spread of coronavirus, people now even seem to be second-guessing the surfaces they touch.

There are conflicting ideas about how long a virus can live, but the CDC says it can be viable for hours to days.

From your doorknob to a communal table, do you know what lingers on the surface?

Early research by scientists at the national institute of health suggests the virus could be detected up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

Professor Sean Banaee from old dominion university says how long the virus lasts depends on different surfaces and environments.

Banaee says that "somehow between three to nine days that's what we were hearing from different surfaces and then on plastic and wood and on the windowsill or even your clothing it doesn't have the same lifetime."

So even as the weather changes, researchers could learn more. But the type of surface can make a difference. Public health officials say you're more likely to pick up the viruses from stainless steel surfaces than money.

While these studies may be ever-changing and at times - conflicting, one thing seems to ring true. Which is why prevention is so important. Disinfecting surfaces that are frequently used like keyboards or desks and any shared areas. Killing the virus before it spreads can make all the difference.

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