health

Coronavirus survives 28 days on glass, currency, Australian researchers find

25 Comments
By Sonali Paul

The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said on Monday, highlighting the need for cleaning and handwashing to combat the virus.

Researchers at Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, found that at 20 degrees Celsius, the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. The study was published in Virology Journal.

By comparison, Influenza A virus has been found to survive on surfaces for 17 days.

CSIRO's research involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on a range of surfaces at concentrations similar to samples from COVID-19 patients and then extracting the virus after a month.

Experiments done in controlled laboratory environments at 20, 30 and 40 degrees C showed that the survival time declined as the temperature increased.

"Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread and do a better job of protecting our people," CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said in a statement.

Proteins and fats in body fluids can also sharply increase virus survival times.

"The research may also help to explain the apparent persistence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in cool environments with high lipid or protein contamination, such as meat processing facilities, and how we might better address that risk," said Trevor Drew, director of the CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations in combating COVID-19, with a total of about 27,000 infections and 898 deaths in a population of 25 million.

The epicenter of the country's second wave of infection, Victoria state, reported 15 new cases on Monday, well shy of a target of less than five which the government has set for the easing of a hard lockdown in the state capital Melbourne.

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported six new cases on Monday, five of whom were returned travelers in quarantine.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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That's a pretty long time. I don't like it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I wouldn't worry about it too much in terms of being an infection risk. We've been using cash since forever, and consider the risk of something unpleasant on our money as an acceptable risk of daily life.

What this article an others in the same vein are about is to create a negative association between COVID-19 and cash as a fear-based psychological tool to condition us for a cashless society. Touch cash and you risk getting the 'rona. But plastic cards, phones and the like are safe. And you want to be, safe, don't you?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

What this article an others in the same vein are about is to create a negative association between COVID-19 and cash as a fear-based psychological tool to condition us for a cashless society. Touch cash and you risk getting the 'rona. But plastic cards, phones and the like are safe. And you want to be, safe, don't you?

No it does not, it is clearly written in the article "the SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens." It completely contradicts your conspiracy theory because it says all smooth non porous surfaces are included as risky, screens and plastic are more dangerous than paper or cotton.

One important detail is that 28 says is the maximum length for any viable viral particles to be found, but that do not necessarily means it is infective for humans that long. One infectious unit on cells is usually not enough to be infective on humans, and other factors like humidity levels, light, etc. can greatly reduce these survival times.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Again, virusrex, you demonstrate that you can only see things in the context of your own field, and very little outside it. Calling me a conspiracy theorist is a waste of time, because (1) it doesn't bother me, and (2) despite what what you might think, there are people in our society who are more interested in manipulating you than giving a damn about your welfare. That might not bother you, but it does me, and plenty of other people.

It's also also worth remembering what while this virus can exist on money as the study shows, is it really a big enough risk that we should shun good old anonymous cash in favour of a plastic card or mobile phone? Wouldn't regularly washing your hands or giving them a spray with alcohol reduce the risk to a negligible level?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Again, virusrex, you demonstrate that you can only see things in the context of your own field, and very little outside it.

You made a mistaken statement, clearly to be demonstrated as such, no context can make that mistake right. It is as simple as that.

Calling me a conspiracy theorist is a waste of time

Quote me, or read carefully, What you are is irrelevant, what you wrote is a conspiracy theory, since you have no proof of it. And in this case it is completely mistaken by the text of the article.

despite what what you might think, there are people in our society who are more interested in manipulating you than giving a damn about your welfare

That is irrelevant, in this article it says actually the opposite of what you think it does, which makes your opinion wrong. Just because there are people that lie that does not mean everything you try to read and don't like has to be a lie, specially if it says something completely different from what you understood.

That might not bother you, but it does me, and plenty of other people.

People completely misrepresenting a very clear text obviously does not bother you, but it bothers me, so I corrected you, many other people are bothered by misinformation.

It's also also worth remembering what while this virus can exist on money as the study shows, is it really a big enough risk that we should shun good old anonymous cash in favour of a plastic card or mobile phone? 

Since this article points precisely to the opposite conclusion, why should we discuss products of your imagination? What would you respond if someone came saying that this article promotes licking money?

Wouldn't regularly washing your hands or giving them a spray with alcohol reduce the risk to a negligible level?

Which would be exactly the point you missed with this article, what do you think is easier? wash your hands every time after you handle money or after handling your phone?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

there are people in our society who are more interested in manipulating you than giving a damn about your welfare. That might not bother you, but it does me, and plenty of other people.

Yes, it bothers me too. They've been pushing the cashless payments for some time, and I am sure they will not let this crisis go to waste.

Anyway, some more details from the paper:

We obtained half lives of between 1.7 and 2.7 days at 20 °C, reducing to a few hours when temperature was elevated to 40 °C. With initial viral loads broadly equivalent to the highest titres excreted by infectious patients, viable virus was isolated for up to 28 days at 20 °C from common surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and both paper and polymer banknotes. Conversely, infectious virus survived less than 24 h at 40 °C on some surfaces.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

What this article doesn’t say is that the experiments were all done in the dark and UV exposure does kill Covid. I’m not saying this study is not useful but the methodology is important, especially in this case.

The upshot of this is just wash your hands, properly and often.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Wouldn't regularly washing your hands or giving them a spray with alcohol reduce the risk to a negligible level?

Which would be exactly the point you missed with this article, what do you think is easier? wash your hands every time after you handle money or after handling your phone?

Er, no. In daily life, there's no need to wash your hands/spray them with alcohol every time you touch cash, OCD notwithstanding. I have a habit of washing my hands after going to the bathroom, and when I get home after being out and about, and before a meal. That's about it. And I'm in excellent health, almost never sick, and I touch cash frequently.

Since this article points precisely to the opposite conclusion, why should we discuss products of your imagination? What would you respond if someone came saying that this article promotes licking money?

Wow. Nice straw man. Are you completely unaware of the push for a cashless society that's been going on for the better part of two decades, less so here in Japan (but there playing catch-up fast). It's not exactly a secret. Of course there are the benefits of convenience and making it more difficult to conduct criminal activities.

But a cashless society also makes it easier to control society through the ability to prevent us from buying and selling if we are reliant on electronic cash that has two travel through a bank account. People who have the "wrong" opinions are already being prevented from trading due to lobbying, often under false pretences, by political pressure groups to have PayPal and Patreon etc shut down accounts of people they don't like.

China's social credit system is heavily based on cashless translations, where people who the government dislikes are banned from things like travel, working in certain fields, etc, and this is quite easy because China is going cashless fast. Under the guise of convenience, of course. With the government blocking access to your bank account, you can't get the money to travel even if you wanted to.

And then there's the potential for governments to tax every single transaction - even friends lending each other money - because every transaction can be tracked. And that goes for banks charging for every transaction as well. So you can get charged twice for lending a friend $20. Does that put it in perspective for you?

Don't think it can't happen where you are. As much as the CCP are despicable human beings, they are still are human, and the world's supply of control freaks is not confined mainly to China's borders.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Er, no. In daily life, there's no need to wash your hands/spray them with alcohol every time you touch cash, OCD notwithstanding. I have a habit of washing my hands after going to the bathroom, and when I get home after being out and about, and before a meal. That's about it. And I'm in excellent health, almost never sick, and I touch cash frequently.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with the question I asked. You keep saying the article somehow push for use of the phone instead of cash when in reality the opposite is happening. The article explicitly says that plastic, vinyl, glass, all very common surfaces of a phone are the ones where the virus survives the most. And even with your failed argument about regularly washing your hands, it is still much more likely for it to be insufficient (if it were) to eliminate the risk from phones, that are constantly in your hands, compared with money that are only a few times during the day.

To explain it more simply, EVEN if washing your hands would not reduce the risk enough, a phone would be much more likely to be a source of risk than money according to this article.

Wow. Nice straw man

You need to investigate better what the strawman fallacy means, for example when you accused me of calling you a conspiracy theorist, that was a strawman, since I never did so.

I on the contrary used an analogy, I never said you were the one that said anything about licking money.

Are you completely unaware of the push for a cashless society that's been going on for the better part of two decades, etc. etc.

Then go a make that point in some article promoting a cashless society, this one does exactly the opposite, saying that plastic and glass are more dangerous than cotton and paper, this would promote use of cash instead of any electronic apparatus or plastic card.

You are wrong here, as wrong as someone that would come saying how bad this article is for promoting licking money, why? because the article don't do such a thing.

Nothing in this article promotes replacing cash, (nothing either promotes putting money in your mouth)

So your complain is completely off topic, maybe because you could not understand what is written, maybe because you did not even read it, but the end point is that you are wrong.

Let me put another example then, someone comes saying that this article is wrong because it promotes criminal deforestation. This article don't do such a thing, but then this person says that deforestation is a real problem with a lot of ecological consequences and begins a rant about how important it is.

That does not change the fact that this article do not promote deforestation, that person is still wrong about it. And no, it is not because lack of a generalized context, it simply doesn't.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

What this article an others in the same vein are about is to create a negative association between COVID-19 and cash as a fear-based psychological tool to condition us for a cashless society.

You could just as easily say the article will create support for global warming as the virus survives longer at lower temperatures, thus conditioning us to a world controlled by oil companies. Or perhaps it's a psychological tool of vegans to create an aversion to meat processing plants.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

You are wrong here, as wrong as someone that would come saying how bad this article is for promoting licking money, why? because the article don't do such a thing. 

Nothing in this article promotes replacing cash, (nothing either promotes putting money in your mouth)

So your complain is completely off topic, maybe because you could not understand what is written, maybe because you did not even read it, but the end point is that you are wrong.

No, it’s you who’s wrong. Seems you’re unaware that Australian “paper” money is actually plastic, has been for a long time, hence the “reason” for the study.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

So your complain is completely off topic, maybe because you could not understand what is written, maybe because you did not even read it, but the end point is that you are wrong.

Or perhaps you did not understand kyronstavic. When you pay cash, the change you receive has been handle by who knows how many people. That does not happen when you pay by card or phone. One would need to have a very simplistic mind to think that he said touch paper bad, touch plastic or glass good.

I too have noticed the push over the years towards cashless payment, and I don't like it. That push has been amplified over the past few months.

I know you crave the gotcha moments, but you failed again.

What would you respond if someone came saying that this article promotes licking money?

Excellent idea. I would rather strengthen my immunity by licking money (about a week after receiving it) than getting a vaccine...

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

No, it’s you who’s wrong. Seems you’re unaware that Australian “paper” money is actually plastic, has been for a long time, hence the “reason” for the study.

So now the conspiracy to push for cashless money is now limited only to Australia? what is more common? to have money or cards made from plastic? and how about glass?

It makes no sense to include preferentially most of the cashless methods and only a fraction of the money in the world as dangerous, if anything the report would still be that in most countries of the world cashless is more dangerous than cash for COVID, and in Australia (and the few other countries with plastic money) is is the same, except that since the phones are much more frequently touched than money that still means they are more dangerous.

You have still failed to put where exactly this article makes the point of cash being MORE dangerous than cashless, even on Australia.

When you pay cash, the change you receive has been handle by who knows how many people. That does not happen when you pay by card or phone. One would need to have a very simplistic mind to think that he said touch paper bad, touch plastic or glass good.

With cards it definitely does, and in most systems it comes double, the card touches surfaces that other cards do, and those other cards are touched by who knows how many people, cashless systems also frequently include screens to touch, so again they would be more dangerous according to the report. It is nonsense to think that getting hands contaminated by cash can somehow be completely clean the next time you touch your phone which would be necessary for it to be "safer".

There is nothing to assume or "think" about the position, it is said perfectly clear in the first comment "We've been using cash since forever, and consider the risk of something unpleasant on our money as an acceptable risk of daily life." So, the message he got"touching money is bad, touching cashless good", which is not a conclusion of the paper in the article.

I too have noticed the push over the years towards cashless payment, and I don't like it. That push has been amplified over the past few months.

And so is deforestation, which is another thing irrelevant to the report.

Excellent idea. 

Which would prove that you would be promoting that, not the article. And it would of course means you are happy about introducing to your body endless amounts of various unidentified materials that can routinely be detected in very high quantities in the money. Good to see that cells, proteins, drugs, droppings, contaminants, toxins, etc. are no longer things you feel disgusted by. No more reasons to reject safe and effective health measures just because of irrational fears.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

And it would of course means you are happy about introducing to your body endless amounts of various unidentified materials that can routinely be detected in very high quantities in the money. Good to see that cells, proteins, drugs, droppings, contaminants, toxins, etc. are no longer things you feel disgusted by.

Our bodies are designed to protect us against normal exposure of dirt, bacteria, and viruses via normal pathways. I would definitely not want to have that money inserted directly into my body. That's basically what you get with a vaccination (you said above that you like analogies).

No more reasons to reject safe and effective health measures just because of irrational fears.

Safe and effective, says you!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Our bodies are designed to protect us against normal exposure of dirt, bacteria, and viruses via normal pathways.

A wound is a perfectly normal occurrence that happens frequently and that is included in our bodies "design"

Also, money have not only dirt, virus and bacteria but also toxins, drugs and other contaminants.

I would definitely not want to have that money inserted directly into my body.

Eating something is having that something inserted directly into your body.

That's basically what you get with a vaccination (you said above that you like analogies).

If you think that eating something makes it impossible to be incorporated to the blood stream I am sorry but I have bad news for you, it is extremely easy to find virus, bacteria, proteins, drugs, etc in the blood after simple mucosal contact. Specially if you ingest millions to billions time more of it than what is left over after purification in a vaccine.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Early this year, there was an article which claims Lysol disinfectant can kill the COVID-19 within 2 minutes of contact, see https://www.healthline.com/health-news/lysol-disinfectant-approved-for-use-against-covid-19-heres-what-else-can-work

Also recently,

UV light which can kill Coronavirus,

https://japantoday.com/category/tech/ushio-launches-world's-1st-uv-lamp-safely-killing-coronavirus

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Also, money have not only dirt, virus and bacteria but also toxins, drugs and other contaminants.

So do vaccines.

Our bodies are designed to protect us against normal exposure of dirt, bacteria, and viruses via normal pathways.

A wound is a perfectly normal occurrence that happens frequently and that is included in our bodies "design"

Yeah, but deep inside the arm is not where we have the highest density of lymphocytes.

Eating something is having that something inserted directly into your body.

Our lymphocytes are found in very high concentration lining the intestines. The intestinal tract is sometimes called the body's largest immune organ. Our bodies are very well designed to handle these things, unless you have a leaky gut due to poor diet or certain sexual practices.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So do vaccines.

Completely false, show a valid source to demonstrate it.

Yeah, but deep inside the arm is not where we have the highest density of lymphocytes.

Neither is the mouth, which is exactly why you can find all kinds of things that contacted the mucosa, even briefly, in the blood torrent, something impossible to do after vaccination.

Our lymphocytes are found in very high concentration lining the intestines.

And they do absolutely nothing to prevent the introduction of all kinds of contaminants and toxins to the blood stream, which is so easy to find them. It may have to do with the fact that absorption begins a very long time before anything reaches the intestine.

Our bodies are very well designed to handle these things, unless you have a leaky gut due to poor diet or certain sexual practices.

Or bodies are also very well designed to handle vaccines, so much that licking money is much more strongly related with disease than being vaccinated, and even more strongly? not being vaccinated.

And no, a perfectly healthy digestive track is still extremely porous to many kinds of toxins, proteins, cells, pathogens, etc. etc.

A very easy way to corroborated is that every single medical association in the world unanimously recommends vaccination as something good and worth doing, and not even one recommends licking money.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@virusrex

Good posts. Our resident conspiracy theorists tend to get bees in their bonnets about many things - it’s pretty much exactly the same bees and bonnets but it’s fun watching them flail around.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is extremely worrying, I surely hope that, as some commenters have said, real life conditions like UV light make the risk disappear much sooner than in the laboratory.

Incidentally, in my completely amateur point of view, if a person recommends licking money that means he already lost the discussion or is just pretending so he can make people on his side seem all like irrational fools.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Our lymphocytes are found in very high concentration lining the intestines. The intestinal tract is sometimes called the body's largest immune organ. Our bodies are very well designed to handle these things, unless you have a leaky gut due to poor diet or certain sexual practices.

You have been already corrected, so there is no point in repeating it, but as an extra point, what do you think lymphocytes have to do with toxins and every other thing different from pathogens? Also, were not your fears related to the immune reactions that unintended antigens could provoke in the body? because phagocytocis of the pathogens by lymphocytes is precisely part of that reaction, or why did you think alimentary allergic reactions are so common? It is precisely because of what you fear from vaccines happens frequently with ingested things.

Incidentally, in my completely amateur point of view...

You are not the only one to have that opinion, and probably neither will be the last, but it is not an opinion well received on this site.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

unless you have a leaky gut due to poor diet or certain sexual practices.

I feel like you are speaking to me. All this article means to me is that I need to trade in my old hundred dollar bills for new ones and keep my wallet fat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

unless you have a leaky gut due to poor diet or certain sexual practices.

I feel like you are speaking to me. All this article means to me is that I need to trade in my old hundred dollar bills for new ones and keep my wallet fat.

No, it was meant to virusrex, as she seems concerned about what she ingests.

If you are concerned about your money, just keep you wallet in a warm place...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No, it was meant to virusrex, as she seems concerned about what she ingests.

Why would I? I am not recommending to lick money.

My point is precisely the opposite, that if you think that is a good idea then things that introduce much less dangerous things in hugely less quantities under much more controlled and studied conditions are a much safe option, at least that is for a rational person that does not make other people think he is pretending.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@rawbeer

Our bodies are designed to protect us against normal exposure of dirt, bacteria, and viruses via normal pathways.

Our bodies aren't designed, they're a product of essentially blind evolutionary processes. And the notion of "normal" exposure is meaningless. Historically, people's environments and living conditions have varied enormously, though in terms of avoidance of viral and bacterial exposure - no country or city was clean until the 20th century, and most not even then. And there was simply no understanding at all of the connection between microorganisms and disease until the 1860s, with general acceptance coming even later.

The body has some defences against disease, and they are far from perfect. They are sufficient to keep human and animal populations from going extinct: but what that means in terms of your survival in the face of infectious disease, no matter how robust you believe your immune system to be, is that you are insignificant.

An individual, of any age, has no guarantee of fighting off infection. Hepatitis A is something you would be likely to survive, but it would make you very ill for weeks, and is easy both to catch and to pass on. Is your body really fighting it off if you are bedridden with hepatitis symptoms? What is "normal" exposure to the hepatitis A virus? Or hepatitis B, which people carry for decades, sometimes from birth, and which produces high rates of liver cancer in susceptible populations?

There are diseases that kill fast, like smallpox and cholera, and diseases that kill slowly, like tuberculosis. In both cases, the body fails to provide sufficient protection. And it fails against diseases that have been with humans for millennia. It fails against new diseases. It fails against diseases that pass in conventional and predictable ways (your "normal pathways" in other words, such as the fecal-oral route or insect bites.

On the level of the individual, medicine, treatment, and vaccination can save you, but the body itself often can't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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