This week, coronavirus cases have skyrocketed all over the world, leading to widespread fear of the virus spreading.
Now, scientists have revealed that the virus may survive on surfaces for much longer than previously thought.
Although initial studies indicated that the virus could survive up to three days of plastic and stainless steel, an analysis of an evacuated cruise ship suggests that the virus can actually survive up to 17 days.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered traces of the virus in the rooms of infected passengers on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess, 17 days after they left.
The ship had more than 700 coronavirus and was quarantined for a while in Yokohama, Japan.
In the study, the researchers looked at uncleaned rooms and discovered traces of the virus on different surfaces.
However, other research has shown that cleaning the chambers was very effective at killing the virus.
In a report on the findings, the CDC explained, “SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on different surfaces in booths of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after the booths were left on the Diamond Princess but prior to disinfection procedures.
"While these data cannot be used to determine whether the transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces, further research into the transmission of fomite from SARS-CoV-2 on board cruise ships is warranted."
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The findings come shortly after researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Montana analyzed how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on cardboard, plastic, and steel.
Their analysis showed that the virus can survive up to four hours on copper and up to 24 hours on cardboard.
However, the results indicate that the virus can survive the longest on plastic and stainless steel and can survive up to three days.
Meanwhile, the study also found that the virus was detectable in aerosols up to three hours after aerosolization.