Tokyo: Japanese researchers found in a discovery that the COVID-19 virus survives on human skin for 9 hours more than flu causing pathogen that survives for about 1.8 hours, expressing the need for frequent hand wash to fight the pandemic.
The research team had tested the skin collected from autopsy specimens, one day after death.
The study was published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.
“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes Covid-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic”, as per the study.
Both the COVID-19 virus and the flu virus can be inactivated within 15 seconds with the application of ethanol used in hand sanitisers.
“The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk”, added the study.
The study is in full support of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for regular and frequent hand wash to restrict transmission of coronavirus, which already infected nearly 40 million people worldwide.