According to a group of Japanese researchers, coronavirus it remains active on human skin for nine hours, five times more than the flu virus, data that demonstrates the importance of frequent hand washing to combat the covid-19 pandemic.
According to the study published this month in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the pathogen that causes gripe survives on human skin for approximately 1.8 hours.
“The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes covid-19) on human skin can increase the risk of contact transmission compared to IAV (influenza virus A), thus accelerating the pandemic, “the study indicates.
In their research, the scientists examined the skin of deceased people obtained from autopsies, approximately one day after the death occurred.
As they explained, both the coronavirus and the flu virus are inactive in 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitizers. “Longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 in the skin increases the risk of transmission by contact; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk,” they explained.
In this way, the study supports the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) of wash your hands regularly to limit transmission of the virus, which has infected nearly 40 million people worldwide since it first appeared in China late last year.
Until the vaccine appears, specialists say, the most effective remain the measures that suppress and control transmission: physical distancing, use of face coverings, respiratory and hand hygiene, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, rapid tests , contact tracing and isolation.
For now, none of the drugs used for other diseases have shown the efficacy sought against COVID-19. According to the WHO, which coordinates the trials carried out in 30 countries with hydroxychloroquine (antimalarial active principle), the antiviral remdesivir, the antiretroviral drugs lopinavir / ritonavir and interferon (a group of proteins), these drugs “Appear to have little or no effect” on mortality and outcome among hospitalized covid patients.