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Coronavirus update: How long can it survive on contaminated surfaces?

Posted at 7:57 AM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 07:57:48-05

There’s been a surge of coronavirus cases in three countries - Italy, Iran and South Korea.

The total number of cases outside China now sits at 2074, while the number of deaths has risen to 23.

As the virus continues to spread globally, fear is rising. Are we on the verge of a world pandemic?

The World Health Organization said this morning that no, the coronavirus has not reached that status.

There are several criteria that need to be met before the World Health Organization declares a pandemic.

First of all, there has to be epidemics, not just outbreaks, in many countries and continents at the same time. WHO also considers the severity of the disease along with the impact it has on society as a whole. And right now they say that we’re not dealing with uncontained global spread or large-scale disease or death.

However, is a pandemic possible? Yes, the virus does have that potential since it’s so very contagious. But looking on the bright side, the decline of cases in China has continued which is very encouraging news.

Now, the CDC has broken down the COVID-19 cases numbers into two distinct categories.

Under the heading titled “Confirmed Cases in the United States,” there are 12 positive travel-related cases and 2 person-to-person spread cases.

And under the other heading titled “Cases among Persons Repatriated to the United States”, there are 3 positive cases from Wuhan, China. And 36 positive cases from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.

So when you add all these numbers up, you have a total of 53 people here in the US that have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Now I should mention that these numbers do not include anyone who was flown back on State Department chartered-flights.

Question: How long can COVID-19survive on contaminated surfaces?

Well, unfortunately, we don’t really know. And that’s because it’s an emerging disease, so there is still a lot that we need to learn about it.

But scientists who have studied other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, know that they can live on things like plastic, metal and glass for up to 9 days. But if the temperature is higher than 86 degrees, they won’t live as long.

A good way to get rid of them is with household disinfectants. Now again, we don’t know if this applies to COVID-19 as well. And the CDC has noted that this novel coronavirus is thought to be transmitted mainly via person to person.