[The Lancet Microbe] Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions

The Lancet Microbe, 2 Apr 2020

Alex W H Chin, Julie T S Chu, Mahen R A Perera, Kenrie P Y Hui, Hui-Ling Yen, Michael C W Chan, Malik Peiris, Leo L M Poon

mask graph
Biphasic decay of infectious SARS-CoV-2 population


  • The virus is highly stable at 4°C, but sensitive to heat.
  • No infectious virus could be recovered from printing and tissue papers after a 3-hour incubation, whereas no infectious virus could be detected from treated wood and cloth on day 2.
  • SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on smooth surfaces. No infectious virus could be detected from treated smooth surfaces on day 4 (glass and banknote) or day 7 (stainless steel and plastic).
  • A detectable level of infectious virus could still be present on the outer layer of a surgical mask on day 7.
  • No infectious virus could be detected after a 5-min incubation with hand soap at room temperature.
  • SARS-CoV-2 can be highly stable in a favourable environment,but it is also susceptible to standard disinfection methods.

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