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COVID-19 could survive on phones, glass, steel and bills

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces such as phones, glass, steel and bank notes for up to 28 days in cold temperatures and in the dark, according to a study by Australia's National Science Agency. Researchers from the CSIRO Center for Disease Prevention tested the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 in the dark under three types of temperatures. Survival rates decline when temperatures are higher, the agency announced.

The scientists found that at a temperature of 20ºC, SARS-CoV-2 is extremely resistant on smooth surfaces such as mobile phone screens, surviving up to 28 days on glass, steel or plasticized banknotes. At 30º, survival falls to 7 days and 24 hours in temperatures of 40º.

The virus survived shorter periods on porous surfaces like cotton for up to 14 days at low temperatures and less than 16 hours at high temperatures, according to the researchers.

This is significantly longer than the results of previous studies that found that the virus can survive up to four days on smooth surfaces, according to the report published in the specialized journal Virology Journal.

Trevor Drew, director of the Australian Center for Disease Prevention, said the study was conducted with samples of the virus in different materials before subjecting them to an "ultrasensitive" method that found traces of live virus capable of infecting cultured cells.

If a person is not careful with these materials and touches them and then puts their hands in their mouth or touches their eyes or nose, they could become infected up to two weeks after (those objects) were contaminated, he warned.


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