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  • Hey everyone, welcome back to Seeker.

  • You may have noticed that I am not in front of my usual rainbow-tastic backdrop because,

  • as I’m sure youre aware, we are trying to limit the spread of the novel Coronavirus

  • by staying in and social distancing.

  • So welcome, everyone, to my apartment!

  • If youre trapped at home like me, washing your hands for 20 seconds several times a

  • day, and only occasionally going out to grab essential supplies in non-panic levels, youre

  • doing your part to slow the virus’s spread, and your actions will save lives.

  • Youre also probably like me and looking at all the doorknobs in your house like theyre

  • out to get you.

  • So let’s address how long the virus can linger on surfaces, and what you should be

  • wiping down to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.

  • First off, let’s just say that the scientific literature on the subject is pretty limited.

  • The novel coronavirus is just that: novel, new.

  • Its full name is SARS-CoV-2, and like all sequels, it's worse than the original.

  • It’s taken the world by storm, and even though it is a very pressing threat, scientific research

  • moves at a much slower pace.

  • It takes time to study it, have the results peer reviewed and confirmed, and then published.

  • So some of this information is still in the pre-print phase, and may be changed or tweaked,

  • but I promise you it is much more rigorously tested than a lot of the information that’s flying

  • around on Facebook or Twitter.

  • One study from the National Institutes of Health that at the time we wrote this was

  • available in pre-print, examined how long the virus can remain viable on a few commonfomites,”

  • or materials which can transmit the infection.

  • The fomites that were tested were copper, stainless steel, cardboard, and one of the

  • most common plastics called polypropylene, which is used to package food, for tote bags,

  • and in many kitchen items.

  • The researchers found copper was the toughest for the virus to survive on; four hours after

  • exposure they couldn’t find any that were viable, or capable of infecting a person.

  • Cardboard was the next toughest for the virus, with none found viable after 24 hours.

  • Stainless steel and plastic were much more accommodating, with viable examples detected

  • even 72 hours after exposure.

  • But let’s mix in a little good news with the bad.

  • Just because there were viable viruses doesn’t mean their concentration wasn’t dropping.

  • In fact the concentration dropped quite a bit, and it did so faster on the steel than

  • on the plastic.

  • That’s because most viruses degrade outside a living host, so while you can still get

  • infected by contacting a contaminated surface days after the virus was deposited there,

  • it’s not as risky as within the first few hours of contamination.

  • The study also examined how long the virus can remain viable when suspended in aerosols.

  • The experiment lasted three hours, and the virus remained viable the entire time, with

  • not much of a drop in concentration.

  • However, and I cannot stress this enough: that does not mean the virus isairborne,”

  • like the virus that causes measles.

  • The researchers aerosolized this virus artificially by spraying it into a mist and keeping it

  • aloft inside a special rotating drum.

  • In contrast, when an infected person exhales or coughs, the virus is typically carried

  • in larger droplets, which do not stay suspended in the air as long.

  • If droplets land on a person or a fomite, then yes... that’s a problem.

  • But from what we know, the virus doesn’t transmit like measles, which can stay infectious

  • in the air for half an hour or more.

  • Now, these are all results from tightly-controlled laboratory settings.

  • In the real world, it’s possible the UV light from sunshine disinfects surfaces faster.

  • It’s also possible that even though your package was in transit for over 24 hours,

  • it was just sneezed on before it was left at your door.

  • So don’t take these as hard and fast rules, but more guidelines.

  • Hopefully what this information really does is help make clear why youve been asked

  • to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face and going out.

  • SARS-CoV-2 spreads most effectively from person to person.

  • If you touch surfaces you fear can be contaminated, avoid touching your face because you can infect

  • yourself through your mouth, nose, and eyes.

  • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap destroys the virus.

  • As a bonus, soap micelles also envelope the fragments of viruses and carry them away,

  • which is what makes soap more effective than hand sanitizer.

  • Hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes are still effective if theyre over 60% alcohol, so

  • go ahead and wipe down frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, remotes, and light

  • switches daily.

  • And don't forget your phone, which touches your hands and face a lot,

  • so that should be wiped down often.

  • And most importantly: do not panic.

  • At a time like this, good information saves lives.

  • Stay safe, stay smart, and do your part.

  • We want to help get you through this world-changing event, so if there’s something else about

  • SARS-CoV-2 you would like to know, tell us in the comments and well do our best to

  • answer your questions thoughtfully and accurately.

  • Check out this explainer video we made about the virus and, to keep up to date with our

  • Coronavirus coverage, make sure to subscribe.

  • Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time on Seeker.

  • Social distancing party at my place!

  • Nobody's invited.

Hey everyone, welcome back to Seeker.


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B1 中級 武漢肺炎 新型冠狀病毒 新冠肺炎 COVID-19

新型冠狀病毒在表面能活多久? (How Long Does the Novel Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日