Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has released a report that shows the Coronavirus can survive on smartphone screens for up to weeks.
It’s not just smartphones, the virus can also live on plastic banknotes for much longer than initially thought. According to CSIRO, the virus showed extreme robustness at 20°C (average room temperature) and died quicker at higher temperatures than this.
“At 20°C, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes,” says Dr Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.
“For context, similar experiments for Influenza A have found that it survived on surfaces for 17 days, which highlights just how resilient Sars-CoV-2 is,” adds Dr Debbie.
The research was carried out by drying the Coronavirus, then putting it in a dark room (since direct sunlight has been found to inactive the virus) in an artificial mucus on different surfaces. The virus is first put in a solution with concentrations similar to those reported in samples from infected persons and then re-isolated over a period of four weeks.
“Our results show that Sars-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular handwashing and cleaning surfaces,” said Dr Debbie.