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Covid-19 Virus Can Remain Infectious in Paper Money for 28 Days, Recent Study Claims




  • Scientists say SARS CoV-2 virus can remain infectious for at least 28 days in cash, based on a recent study.
  • The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)conducted the study and published its results in the Virology Journal.
  • At lower temperatures, the pathogen can survive longer on smooth, non-porous surfaces, including paper and plastic banknotes, glass such as in mobile phones and tablets, and steel.

Recent research showed that the coronavirus remain ‘extremely stable’ and can survive long on smooth, non-porous surfaces at ambient temperature, which is about 20 degrees Celcius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists say that certain surfaces may harbor the infectious pathogen for up to 28 days. The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) used Australian polymer bank notes, de-monetized paper bank notes, brushed stainless steel, glass, vinyl and cotton cloth for the study. They measured the time it took for samples of the virus to become inactive on the aforementioned surfaces, at three ambient temperatures.

In the article published by CSIRO, they said they also conducted the study in the dark to remove the effects of UV light.

Research has shown that direct sunlight can rapidly kill the virus.

Dr. Larry Marshall, CSIRO’s chief executive said:

“Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more accurately predict and mitigate its spread, and do a better job of protecting our people.”

Consequently, the study revealed that higher temperatures are not ideal for the coronavirus. At 40 degrees Celcius, it was able to remain alive for less than 24 hours.

They recognized varied results at 30 degrees Celcius; on stainless steel, glass, and plastic notes, the said virus survived for at least seven days.

On vinyl and cotton cloth, the pathogen remained infectious for only three days.
However, on paper notes, the recent study  revealed that the coronavirus was still detected after 21 days under those conditions.

The conclusions of the study were published in Virology Journal. It read:

“The persistence of SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated in this study is pertinent to the public health and transport sectors. This data should be considered in strategies designed to mitigate the risk of fomite transmission during the current pandemic response.”

Dr. Debbie Eagles, Deputy Director of Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) also said,” Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular handwashing and cleaning surfaces.”

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