Media in China have announced that the 2019-nCoV virus may live outside the human body, such as on surfaces contaminated via coughs and sneezes:
Quote from Transmission ways of nCoV spark concern:
New ways of transmitting the coronavirus have been reported, and virus nucleic acid has been detected outside human bodies, sparking public concerns that the virus could be transmitted in unknown and undetected ways.
Scientists have found coronavirus nucleic acid on the doorknob of a confirmed Guangzhou-based patient’s house, the first case of novel coronavirus detected outside the human body, Guangzhou Daily reported Monday.
Mobile phone screens, computer keyboards, faucets and other household objects may indirectly transmit the virus, experts said.
The virus may remain potentially infectious on these surfaces for several days:
Concerns emerged after scientists found coronavirus nucleic acid on the doorknob of a confirmed Guangzhou-based patient’s house, the first case of novel coronavirus detected outside the human body, Guangzhou Daily reported Monday. The finding was confirmed by China’s Health Commission, which said on Monday that the coronavirus can survive for five days maximum on smooth surfaces under suitable circumstances.
Actions you can take to reduce transmission via such pathways include avoiding touching your face, mouth, or eyes with your hands, frequently washing your hands and washing them well, thorough cooking of foods, thoroughly washing dishes and utensils at high temperatures, and handling food, dishes, and utensils and serving or eating food only after washing your hands.
Packages or items that may be contaminated, such as packages shipped from areas with known infections, could be left outside your home for more than 5 days before being brought inside to reduce the risk of infection.
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