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How Long Will Coronavirus Live On Surfaces Or In The Air Around You?

We already know that coronavirus or the Covid-19 has been spreading rapidly all over the world. We are also aware that we can pick up this virus by touching any surface that has been contaminated with the novel coronavirus. In this time, it is essential for us to know how long will coronavirus live on surfaces or in the air around you? ; so that we can take essential steps or precautions accordingly. So, read below to know more about it.

How Long Will Coronavirus Live On Surfaces Or In The Air Around You?

How Long Will Coronavirus Live On Surfaces Or In The Air Around You?

As the Covid-19 is spreading quickly all over the world, we have all grown up with some kind of fear of surfaces or objects. It is quite familiar now to see people opening doors using their elbows, office workers rubbing their desks at office every morning, and so on.

It is also seen that in places where the novel coronavirus has hit badly, teams of workers in their protective clothing have been dispatched for spraying disinfectant in parks, plazas, and in public streets. Moreover, cleaning of buildings, hospitals, restaurants, offices, shops, and houses have been increased. And all these have been taken up very seriously because by now we know that coronavirus can survive on various surfaces or in the air around us. Now, below we will know about how long will coronavirus live on surfaces or in the air around you?

How Long Will Coronavirus Live On Surfaces?

As suggested by a new research, it can be explained that coronavirus can survive for 3 days or 72 hours on certain surfaces, such as steel and plastic. So, the coronavirus lives longest on steel and plastic surfaces. However, it is also mentioned by the experts that the risk of users getting infected from touching such materials is still low, still there is a warning of taking preventive measures in this regards.

The recent study also suggest that the novel coronavirus disintegrates over the course of a day on cardboard, thus reducing the worry among users or consumers that deliveries might spread the Covid-19 during their period of staying at home or working from home.(1)

Virus live on copper surface poorly and can survive only for 4 hours.

Just like many other respiratory viruses, Covid-19 can be spread in form of tiny droplets that has been released from mouth and nose or an infected person when they sneeze or cough. We must mention that a single cough from a person can produce up to 3000 droplets.(2) These tiny particles can land on other people’s body, clothing, and surfaces around them; however some of the smaller particles can be in the air.(3)

There are also evidences that coronavirus is also shed for a longer time period in fecal materials. So, one must wash their hands properly after using toilet so as to prevent contamination of other surfaces that they might touch.

As per the CDC, touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching own face is not thought to be the primary way through which the virus spreads.(4) Still, the WHO and the CDC along with some other health authorities have emphasized on washing hands and cleaning or disinfecting the frequently touched surfaces regularly is one of the key to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

How Long Will Coronavirus Live In The Air Around You?

We mentioned above that these one single cough can produce 3000 droplets and when the coronavirus becomes suspended in droplets smaller than 5 micrometeres (also known as aerosols), it can remain suspended for about 30 minutes, before drifting down and before settling on surfaces where it could linger for several hours.

A study published in the New England Journal Of Medicine, has shown that the coronavirus could survive in droplets for up 2-3 hours after one infected person has coughed out in to the air.(5)

It must be mentioned that from the droplets the virus can land on other people or surfaces around them; but some smaller virus particles can be in the air. However, it is explained that the virus does not get transported by air.


Research has already shown that Covid-19 can be inactivated within a minute by simply disinfecting surfaces using 62-71% alcohol or 0.5% of hydrogen peroxide bleach. Higher temperature and humidity is also known to kill the coronavirus quickly. So, the only way to fight the attack of coronavirus is to wash our hands properly and frequently, and also to disinfect the surfaces that are touched most frequently. Most importantly, it is also essential for each one of us to remain at home and keep away from going outside unless it is very much required.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 2, 2020

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