How Long Can Coronavirus Stay On Surfaces And Other Top COVID-19 Questions Answered

The novel coronavirus (officially named SARS-CoV-2) has sent the world into a frenzy with cases increasing by the hour. Although the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus has been around for more than 3 months, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about it. Despite active research and continued global efforts to craft an effective vaccine, the pandemic is far from over.

Here are some common questions about the COVID-19, answered.

Q1: How long can coronavirus stay on surfaces?
The exact time this virus can survive on different surfaces is still being investigated. The latest research reveals that the coronavirus can stay for up to three hours if and when there is heavy contamination. It can survive up to four hours on copper and a few days on cardboard, plastic and stainless steel.

That’s precisely why disinfecting your surroundings is essential to stop the transmission of the virus.

Q2: Can pets transmit COVID-19 to humans?
Apart from isolated cases in Hong Kong and Belgium of pets getting infected, there is no known cases of pet-to-human transmission of COVID-19. Pet owners should not be alarmed and should continue to keep their pets indoors as much as possible to decrease the possibility of exposure. A report by the World Organisation for Animal Health, states that further studies are exploring if and how different animals could be affected by the coronavirus.

It remains important to give your pets regular baths and maintain general pet hygiene. In case of symptoms such as respiratory distress, pet owners should contact their veterinarian and seek professional assistance.

Q3: How effective is a mask in preventing COVID-19 transmission?
The consensus by medical professionals is that a face mask is absolutely effective when worn by someone with a disease, as it acts as a physical barrier for tiny droplets of saliva and mucus. Furthermore, researchers are finding evidence of COVID-19 being “airborne” via microscopic droplets that remain in the air for hours. As such, it may be a good preventive measure to keep a face mask on no matter what.

Q4: What's the most effective material for a face mask?
Surgical face masks are the most effective, where some studies estimate fivefold protection versus wearing no masks. Meanwhile, cloth masks are the least effective, as they remain porous and susceptible to incoming germs. However, masks are not guaranteed protection as the virus can also be transmitted through the eyes and ears. Hence, everyone should resist the urge to touch one’s face, even if they are wearing a mask.

Q5: Is there an approved treatment of COVID-19?
Currently, there is no approved treatment for COVID-19. Certain drugs like chloroquine have been tested, but there’s still scarce research to prove their effectiveness. There have also been clinical trials of plasma transfusions that have been somewhat successful but still not approved. There’s also no vaccine for coronavirus yet, but global efforts are ensuing. So until any drugs have been shown to be effective in clinical trials and have been approved by authorities, no one is encouraged to be self-medicating for COVID-19.

Q6: Can imported goods become a source of infection?
The risk of contracting an infection from imported goods is low. Therefore, it’s safe to receive a package from any country, even where cases of COVID-9 have been reported. However, you should opt for no-contact deliveries where possible, and throw out the packaging immediately, washing your hands straight after. This will minimise contracting the infection via surfaces, as evidence suggests the coronavirus remains viable on surfaces such as cardboards and plastics.

Bottom Line
Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, the novel coronavirus has left us with several pressing questions. While researchers around the world are trying their best to find a cure, let’s play our part in flattening the curve by stopping its transmission. Prevention begins from home, so stay inside and stay safe!