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Last updated on Jun 23rd, 2021 at 10:01 am

How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces and can it be transmitted through the air? The results of a new study are in…

Scientists have found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours.

This suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air.

How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces?

This is what the researchers found about how long the virus lasts on surfaces:

  • Up to four hours on copper
  • Up to 24 hours on cardboard
  • Up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel

The study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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What does this mean for us?

Their findings affirm the guidance from public health professionals to use precautions similar to those for influenza and other respiratory viruses to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash or toilet.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Source: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases via


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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.