Coronavirus is destructive on two fronts – the direct threat it poses to human life and the fear it sows in its wake. The latter makes the former worse, however, as fear can paralyse people’s sense-making abilities and allow false information to spread. False information can drive you to make decisions that put you in harm’s way so it is important to counter any myths with the current evidence-based knowledge.
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that virus is detectable for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
“This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain,” said James Lloyd-Smith, a co-author of the study and a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
He added: “If you’re touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands.”
To arrive at this verdict, the study attempted to mimic the virus being deposited onto everyday surfaces in a household or hospital setting by an infected person through coughing or touching objects, for example.
The health body specifically advises against going to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you show mild symptoms.
This is a critical part of the social distancing measure to minimise the risk of spreading the virus to those most vulnerable.
Reducing the rate of transmission will also buy precious time to ease pressure off the healthcare system and support the effort to develop a vaccine.
Coronavirus – UK latest
As of 9am on 21 March 2020, 72,818 people have been tested in the UK, of which 67,800 have been confirmed negative, while 5,018 are positive.
233 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.
Published at Sun, 22 Mar 2020 10:01:00 +0000