The coronavirus survival on various items, including door handles and elevator buttons, depends on air humidity and these surfaces, Vsevolod Belousov, molecular technology la-boratory head at the RAS Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry wrote on his Facebook page.
According to the scientist, SARS-CoV-2 relates to the so-called enveloped viruses. “This means that a freshly packaged particle of the virus, detaching from the infected cell, is en-veloped into the membrane of the host cell, pre-loading the viral proteins necessary for the infection of the next cell into this membrane”, the post says.
Belousov explained that the cell membrane is a lipid bilayer, the main enemy of which is soap or any other detergent that kill the virus instantly. The main friend of the virus is mois-ture, he added.
“The virus cannot survive in a non-humid environment. Drying kills it as effectively as a de-tergent or alcohol. That is why the virus transmission path is called airborne. Not virus par-ticles, but microscopic drops are suspended in the air, each of which contains hundreds and thousands of virus particles”, he said.
Therefore, the higher the humidity is, the greater the risk of getting an infection. Corona-virus can be “killed” by drying, for example, by airing.
“If a sick person slobbered the finger and pressed the elevator button, and you pressed the same button soon after that and touched the nose, there is the risk. But if he breathed on the button, and you, after a few minutes, pressed it and touched the nose, then the infection is unlikely”, the scientist believes.
Belousov noted that liquids such as saliva contain a large amount of proteins that hold moisture. Therefore, the discharges from the mouth or nose of a sick person are drying for a long time on the surfaces, and the virus remains active in them.
“The risk of getting an infection from the surface of dry items is very small, as this is not the main transmission path. Anyway, you need to wash your hands. You never know who sneezed or coughed on your doorknob”, the scientist wrote.
He added that the risk of contracting a coronavirus at a distance of several meters is “negli-gible”, and masks further reduce it.
The COVID-19 pandemic covered almost the entire world. According to the latest WHO data, more than two and a half million people have been infected, and more than 175 thou-sand of them have died.
The United States remains in the first place in terms of the number of victims and infected, where a severe emergency mode is in force. The list of countries most vulnerable to coro-navirus also includes Spain, Italy, France and Germany.