New Study Finding About The Disease

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The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects. SARS-CoV-1 was eradicated by intensive contact tracing and case isolation measures and no cases have been detected since 2004.

SARS-CoV-1 is the human coronavirus most closely related to SARS-CoV-2.

This media availability describes a basic research finding. Basic research increases our understanding of human behavior and biology, which is foundational to advancing new and better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Most clinical advances would not be possible without the knowledge of fundamental basic research. News releases, fact sheets, and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

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