When you’re in public, you know you need to socially distance yourself to prevent directly contracting a virus from someone else, but how long can viruses live outside the body?
In this day and age, you can never be too careful. So we are going to uncover the truth behind this question, and help you stay safe every time you leave the house with a cool new tool.
To help you understand all the different factors at play, though, we need to cover some basic information on viruses, their reproduction habits, and more.
Can Viruses Live Outside The Body On Hard Surfaces?
For the most part, when we ask if viruses can live outside the body we are asking if they can live on the surfaces we come in contact with.
We know that coming into contact with sick people will lead to the spread of viruses and bacteria.
But if a sick person was in a room touching the door handle and exhaling all over the walls, windows, etc, can those germs survive and then be passed onto others who enter the room?
How A Virus Reproduces
For a virus to reproduce, it needs to have a host. This is good news and bad news for us humans, or hosts.
The good news is that a virus can not reproduce on hard surfaces, or anywhere outside of a living creature for that matter. This means that if viruses can in fact live outside the body, you at least don’t have to worry about them spreading on their own.
The bad news is that yes - viruses can live outside the body. They can survive while awaiting a new host to come and physically put them in their body. This can happen from you touching an infected door handle, and then touching your face.
So now the question becomes, how long can viruses live outside the body?
How Long Can Viruses Live Outside The Body?
When we talk about how long viruses can live outside the body, we need to consider how many variables are at play.
For example, the type of virus, the specific material which has become infected, and the environmental conditions within that space.
Different Viruses Can Live Longer Than Others Outside The Body
Some cold and flu viruses can only live for a few hours outside of the body, whereas others can survive for weeks.
While many cleaning products claim that viruses can live for weeks, this is usually not true. What they are referring to is how long traces of the virus can be found on a surface. But the reality is that these viruses are no longer completely intact, and they must be intact in order to be contagious.
In any case, studies conducted by reputable research teams such as the virologists at Public Health England, Mayo Clinic, and more have found that the longest most viruses can be dangerous is around 24 hours.
How The Specific Surface In Question Plays A Role
You also need to consider that different surfaces can harbor a virus and keep it alive longer than others.
For example, certain metals such as brass & copper are actually antimicrobial. This means they actively kill any virus that they come in contact with.
On the other hand, other metals and plastic can create better conditions for a virus to live on, and thus keeping it alive longer.
Interestingly enough, our skin is one of the most protective barriers there is when it comes to a virus. As it pertains to both flu and cold-causing viruses, they can only survive around 20 minutes on our hands.
The Environment Matters Too
To a certain degree, the environment plays a role in how long viruses can live outside the body. In colder conditions, they are able to thrive.
This is why the “cold and flu season” exists. The cold weather creates a more ideal condition for viruses to survive.
But not every virus plays differently according to temperature. For example, people suspected the coronavirus would fade off when summer rolled around. But unfortunately, we did not see a huge drop in contagion rates due to the changing weather.
How To Protect Yourself From Lurking Viruses On Common Surfaces
So now you are aware that viruses can live outside the body, albeit just for a day or so in most cases.
It is still important to protect yourself from coming into contact with these viruses. Especially now that you know they are just awaiting a new host to start reproducing again.
So, how do you stay safe in public, where germs are seemingly everywhere? Of course you can keep hand sanitizer with you and constantly wash your hands, socially distance, wear a mask, etc.
But, there is one more thing you could add to your arsenal to help in the fight against bacteria and viruses.
VitaCreations Anti-Touch Tool
The Vita Key by VitaCreations is the best way to protect yourself from viruses hiding on the many surfaces you come in contact with on a daily basis.
The key allows you to avoid touching many of these common surfaces. It opens most doors for you, and also prevents you from needing to touch keypads or touch screens!
This means you could do a grocery shopping trip and not need to touch anything other than the food you grab.
Further keeping you safe, the key is comprised entirely of brass, which is an antimicrobial metal. So any germs you avoid won’t just be able to live on the key.
When you buy your Vita Key, you are helping create a safer world for the most at risk groups around us, because we donate a mask with each and every purchase.
Do your part to protect yourself and the ones around you today!