[HCCN] Fwd: Duration of the virus on various surfaces and in an aerosol

Dick Atlee atlee at dickatlee.com
Fri Mar 20 16:47:33 EDT 2020

You might find some of this information useful, if you haven't encountered
it already (this is a note I sent to my own email list).


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Given concern about viral survival on surfaces (and on mail and shipping
boxes), I found a reference to a NEJM study reported a few days ago on the
durability of the virus in the air (as an aerosol rather than cough
droplets) and on various surfaces, compared to the original SARS virus. I
download it (https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973), and found
their main figure really helpful, so I'm attaching it.

For those interested in details*, the middle panel shows open-circle
triplets of readings taken at 0-1-4-8-24-48-72-96 (and further) hours on
surfaces and 0-.5-1-2-3 hrs in air. The black dots represent readings below
the limit of detection (the dashed line). The colored swaths are the range
of 50 different trend lines through various points (more easily seen in the
figures in the Supplementary Appendix

Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina (which
has a Level-3 biosafety (biowarfare?) lab), offers a LOT of helpful
information in a Business Insider article at



"According to Graham, smooth, nonporous surfaces like doorknobs and
tabletops are better at carrying viruses in general. Porous surfaces — like
money, hair, and fabric — don't allow viruses to survive as long because
the small spaces or holes in them can trap the microbe and prevent its
transfer, Graham said.

"Coins will transmit a virus better than cash, but this shouldn't be a huge
concern," she said. "Basic rule of thumb should be to consider money dirty
anyway, because it is. It goes through too many hands not to be."

Your smartphone, with all its glass and aluminum, can also carry viral

Graham recommended disinfecting your phone, "particularly if it travels to
the bathroom with you."

I strongly recommend checking out that article!


*If you're really into it, the data is available in a nice table at

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