Recent analyses allow us to learn more about the life of the corona virus. Indeed, the American Institute for Allergy and infectious disease research has addressed the issue of survival of Covid-19 on various media.
Let’s start with what scientists call “aerosols”, that is, micro-droplets suspended in the air, the virus can be detected there 3 hours after their projection. Simply put, a patient who sneezes or coughs without protecting his mouth, as it is recommended, spreads around him these famous droplets… infected for three hours.
Regarding surfaces now, the same study shows that Covid – 19 can withstand 4 hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2 or 3 days on plastic or stainless steel. At the beginning of the epidemic, before these new studies, there was only talk of a few hours of survival.
Hence the usefulness of regularly disinfecting surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons or corporate offices. Bleach or soap and water are enough.
American scientists compared these lifetimes with those of SARS. The epidemic affected more than 8,000 people worldwide between 2002 and 2003 and caused the deaths of just under 800 people.
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The life span of both viruses similar, in the air or on surfaces.
It turned out that the main mode of transmission of Sars was human exchanges, especially sputum, cough and sneezing. But Covid-19 is much more contagious. However, experts do not conclude that surface transmission is more important than for Sars.
In China, a team studied the case of a building where 7 people, working in different offices and not having direct contacts, had fallen ill. Their hypothesis: the common toilet could be the source of infection, via fecal matter.
It is still only a hypothesis but it recalls the importance of disinfecting the places of passage and specially to wash hands and avoid human contact.
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Is the particularly high contagion of Covid-19 relative to SARS related to its incubation time?
If Sars is transmitted by a patient only 4 or 5 days after the onset of the first symptoms, coronavirus is transmitted from the very beginning. From the first cough, fever or difficulty breathing. And even sometimes, in some patients, even before he feels suffering. Hence the difficulty in stopping the spread of the virus. Quarantine, that is, in the case of Covid-19, 14 days of isolation, is not enough to rule out the risk of transmission.
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In Italy, this is it, the curve seems to soften. The increase in the number of cases is 13%. It was 19% last Saturday. The whole country has been confined for a week, but in some areas that have been confined for longer, at least 3 weeks. Now there is practically no more contamination. In France, the effects will not be felt immediately.
Also due to the incubation time of the disease. It is 6 days on average before symptoms appear and it can go up to a dozen days. It is therefore only in a little less than two weeks that we will know whether to limit the movements and contacts to the maximum will have allowed to stop the spread of the corona virus.