//Viral survival

Viral survival

Survival of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions
Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions (Lancet April)


SARS-CoV-2 more stable on smooth surfaces

No infectious virus could be detected from smooth surfaces on day 4 (glass and banknote)

Overall, SARS-CoV-2 can be highly stable in a favourable environment

Susceptible to standard disinfection methods.

The effect of temperature on persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on common surfaces (Virology Journal, 7th October)

Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, Geelong, VIC, Australia


The rate at which COVID-19 has spread throughout the globe has been alarming

Role of fomite transmission is not yet fully understood

The risks of fomite transmission from contaminated surfaces.

This study measured the survival rates of infectious SARS-

CoV-2, on several common surface types

In the dark, (negate any effects of UV light)


Half-lives 1.7 to 2.7 days

Viral loads equivalent to the highest titres excreted by infectious patients

Viable virus was isolated for up to 28 days at 20 °C from common surfaces


Stainless steel

Paper and polymer banknotes


Virus survived less than 24 h at 40 °C on some surfaces

SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious for significantly longer time periods than generally considered possible

These results could be used to inform improved risk mitigation procedures to prevent the fomite spread of COVID-19.

Exaggerated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites (Lancet 3rd July)


In my opinion, the chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small

Where an infected person coughs or sneezes on the surface
and someone else touches that surface soon after the cough or sneeze (within 1–2 h)

I do not disagree with erring on the side of caution

Although periodically disinfecting surfaces and use of gloves are reasonable precautions especially in hospitals

CDC, How COVID-19 Spreads