New Coronavirus Has Long Survival Times in Air and on Surfaces

FRIDAY, March 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The new coronavirus can survive in the air and on certain surfaces for long periods of time, researchers report.

The team of scientists found that the coronavirus can live in the air for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel, the Associated Press reported.

The findings -- posted Wednesday on a website where researchers share their work before publication -- don't prove that people can be infected by breathing the coronavirus from the air or by touching contaminated surfaces, the researchers emphasized.

"We're not by any way saying there is aerosolized transmission of the virus," but these results show that the virus remains viable for long periods in those conditions, so it's theoretically possible," said study leader Neeltje van Doremalen, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the AP reported.

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