German researchers have conducted a compilation of studies on how long they remain on the surfaces of objects, and how to eliminate them, the SARS and MERS coronaviruses.
In his work, published in the magazine ‘Journal of Hospital Infection’, offer a series of recommendations, which can be extrapolated to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
The new coronavirus is in the headlines of media worldwide for the outbreak originated in China. Since there is no specific therapy against the virus, preventing infection is of particular importance in curbing the epidemic.
Like all infections that are spread by air drops, the virus it can spread through hands and frequently touched surfaces.
“In hospitals they can be, for example, door handles, but also call buttons, bedside tables, bed frames and other objects that are in close proximity to patients, which are often made of metal or plastic” , explains Professor Günter Kampf, of the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine of the University Hospital of Greifswald (Germany).
Together with Dr. Eike Steinmann, head of the Department of Molecular and Medical Virology of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany), he has compiled extensive findings of 22 studies on coronaviruses and their inactivation For a future book.
The studies evaluated, which focus on the coronavirus SARS and MERS, showed, for example, that they can persist on surfaces and remain infectious at room temperature for up to nine days. On average, they survive for four to five days. “The low temperature and high humidity of the air further increase its useful life,” explains Kampf.
Tests with various disinfection solutions showed that agents based on ethanol, hydrogen peroxide or sodium hypochlorite are effective against coronaviruses.
If these agents are applied in adequate concentrations, they reduce the number of infectious coronaviruses from one million to only 100 pathogenic particles. “As a general rule, this is enough to significantly reduce the risk of infection,” the researchers say.
Experts assume that the results of the analysis of other coronaviruses are transferable to the new coronavirus. “Different coronaviruses were analyzed and the results were all similar,” concludes Eike Steinmann. Ep