Japanese researchers in a study have found that the lethal coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours while they also saw the frequent hand washing is a need to combat the deadly disease.
The pathogen that causes the flu survives on human skin for about 1.8 hours by comparison, Indian NDTV reported today citing the study published this month in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal in Japan.
"The nine-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus strain that causes Covid-19) on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV (influenza A virus), thus accelerating the pandemic," the study said.
The research team tested skin collected from autopsy specimens, about one day after death.
Both the coronavirus and the flu virus are found inactivated within 15 seconds by applying ethanol, which is used in hand sanitisers.
"The longer survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the skin increases contact-transmission risk; however, hand hygiene can reduce this risk," the study said.
The study backs World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for regular and thorough hand washing to limit transmission of the virus, which has infected nearly 40 million people around the world since it first emerged in China late last year.
The latest report published by WHO said that the coronavirus had claimed a total of 1,101,298 lives worldwide so far and infected 39,196,259 people.
In India, a total of 1,14,031 people died and 74,94,551 had been infected by the coronavirus by now.