Edinburgh Research Explorer

Does SARS-COV-2 last 17 days on surfaces?

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was found on surfaces of the Princess Cruise ship up to 17 days after passengers disembarked, the US Center for Disease Control found. Is that true? If so, can you be infected by the virus after that long?

 

It’s very important to remember that viral RNA will survive longer than actual infectious virus. In the case of influenza virus, which shares many biochemical properties with SARS-CoV-2, as well as the ability to be spread via surface contamination, research has shown that viral RNA lasts for days on surfaces but the infectivity of the virus drops off exponentially and is largely gone after a few hours. I commented on this for the Science Media Centre here.

I would add that exponential decay of infectivity is a fact that tends to get missed in headlines (even in scientific papers) that tend to report the longest value that can be found. This applies to SARS-CoV-2 too.

Period1 Apr 2020

The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was found on surfaces of the Princess Cruise ship up to 17 days after passengers disembarked, the US Center for Disease Control found. Is that true? If so, can you be infected by the virus after that long?

 

It’s very important to remember that viral RNA will survive longer than actual infectious virus. In the case of influenza virus, which shares many biochemical properties with SARS-CoV-2, as well as the ability to be spread via surface contamination, research has shown that viral RNA lasts for days on surfaces but the infectivity of the virus drops off exponentially and is largely gone after a few hours. I commented on this for the Science Media Centre here.

I would add that exponential decay of infectivity is a fact that tends to get missed in headlines (even in scientific papers) that tend to report the longest value that can be found. This applies to SARS-CoV-2 too.

References

TitleDoes SARS-COVID-2 last 17 days on surfaces?
Media name/outletMetafact
Date of coverage1/04/20

ID: 142694226