Wuhan Coronavirus Can Survive Up to Five Days on Surfaces

Posted on February 4, 2020

The 2019-nCov coronavirus is very new so we don't know much about how long it can survive on surfaces. Surfaces can be a significant vector for virus transmission.

Some insight into how long the nCov virus way survive on surfaces was revealed at a recent Hubei province news conference. An entry on the Flutrackers forum has a transcript of a Q&A section with reporters and Jiang Rongmeng, a member of the China's National Health and Health Committee and a chief physician at the Beijing Ditan Hospital.

Dr. Rongmeng reveals that the virus can survive for hours on surfaces and it can survive for up to five days on surface in certain conditions.

"Studies have now found that the virus can survive for hours on smooth surfaces, and that it can survive for several days if the temperature and humidity are appropriate. For example, in a 20-degree environment with a humidity of 40% -50%, studies have shown that the new coronavirus can survive for up to five days."

The virus can contaminate door handles and elevator buttons according to the Chinese expert. A sick person with the virus on their hands could contaminate a door handle, train seat or elevator button. The person could also cough out virus-containing droplets onto a surface which could then be touched by another person.

Assuming the physician means 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) then it could mean the virus will have a tough time surviving in the sun on a warm dry day. However, a cooler air conditioned room might allow the virus to survive for days.

More information and tests are needed to see how long the virus survives on various surfaces and at different temperatures.

Additional Virus Information


You can find more information about the coronavirus and a growing list of helpful resources on our coronavirus resources page.

Image: IVDC, China CDC via GISAID

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