How Long Can Coronaviruses Live on Surfaces?

  • Author:
  • Published: 13 February 2020
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Journal of Hospital Infection/Elsevier
thumbnail image: How Long Can Coronaviruses Live on Surfaces?

A new strain of coronavirus has caused the current outbreak of a lung disease, recently named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease can be fatal, especially in older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Preventing further infections is, thus, very important. The transmission of coronaviruses via contaminated surfaces could be possible, so it is vital to know how long the viruses can persist on surfaces and which disinfectants can be used to sanitize them.

Günter Kampf, Greifswald Medical School, Germany, and colleagues have performed a literature review focusing on previously known coronaviruses and analyzed the available data on how long coronaviruses can live on hard surfaces (metal, glass, plastic) and which ingredients in disinfectants can inactivate them. The team compiled information on human viruses, such as the coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as well as animal viruses such as the canine coronavirus (CCV).

The team found that human coronaviruses can persist on surfaces for up to nine days, depending on the material of the surface and the temperature. The collected data also showed that this type of virus can be efficiently inactivated by disinfection with sufficiently concentrated ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, or sodium hypochlorite solutions. Other disinfectants such as benzalkonium chloride seem to be less effective. The suitable disinfection of surfaces could prevent the transmission of the virus, especially in a hospital setting. Based on their review of the data, the researchers recommend doubling the typically used concentration of sodium hypochlorite solutions from 0.05 % to 0.1 % in hospitals where the new coronavirus is an issue.


Also of Interest


  • LitCovid
    Curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about COVID-19
  • Many publishers and other entities have signed a joint statement to ensure that COVID-19 research findings and data are shared rapidly and openly



Article Views: 32786

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission and consult our permission guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH