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Covid-19: Virus Can Live Up To 7 Days On Outside Of Facemask

Covid-19: Virus Can Live Up To 7 Days On Outside Of Facemask

Tasneem Nazari

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Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, researchers have been studying how long the virus can live on a variety of surfaces. From porous surfaces such as cardboard, all the way to non-porous surfaces such as stainless steel.

This developing body of research has been used to help guide healthcare professionals on recommendations to the general public about how they can protect themselves from the pandemic.

Health authorities have clarified that Covid-19 is not an “airborne” disease. It is a respiratory illness which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

It can also be transmitted when you touch objects with the virus, and then touch your face. 

(Info via WHO Credit: Bernama)

A new report published in The Lancet has found that the virus was still detectable on the outside of a face mask one week later.

Face masks, such as surgical masks and N95 respiratory masks, have been making headlines for their effectiveness against the disease, their high demand and subsequent outage in the last couple of weeks.

The study’s researchers explained that their findings show how important it is to properly wear and remove these masks, especially the fact that you should avoid touching the outside part of the mask.

Because you can contaminate your hands, and if you touch your eyes you could be transferring the virus to your eyes.

Study researcher Malik Peiris via Business Insider

The Ministry of Health recommends wearing a mask that fully closes the nose and mouth and sits snugly across the bridge of the nose. The World Health Organisation (WHO) adds that masks should be worn once and then disposed of immediately.

(Credit: Bernama)

The study also found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was more stable on smooth surfaces, but its lifespan can be impacted by factors such as temperature and humidity.

This is why health officials recommend regularly disinfecting household objects that get touched a lot, like doorknobs, light and fan switches, countertops, and phones.

For those worried about viruses sticking to groceries or other essential items from the shops, the study’s researchers advise that non-perishable items be left in their shopping bags a day before you handle them again.

That would reduce the viral titre [concentration] a lot.

Study researcher Leo Poon Lit-man via Business Insider.

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