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How Long Does SARS-CoV-2 Last on Surfaces? What We Know COVID-19

It’s on everybody’s mind, to some extent, right now. If a surface is contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2virus, how long does it pose a risk of infection? The virus is thought to mainly spread through respiratory droplets. These are produced in a cloud when a person coughs or sneezes, or even talks. Some potentially-virus-laden droplets might end up getting breathed in by other people in the vicinity. But many of them end up landing on objects like door handles or water faucets.
 When that happens, infectious disease experts refer to that door handle as a fomite. And if a person then touches the fomite while the virus is still infectious, they can then spread it to new surfaces, or actually infect themselves. Fomites aren’t just for viruses -- any type of pathogen can create fomites -- but we’re talking about viruses… obvious reasons. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus particles don't last forever -- or even all that long. Eventually, the protein coat that allows the virus to actu…
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