Coronavirus does NOT appear to spread through surfaces like door handles, scientists discover

THE CORONAVIRUS does not spread through surfaces such as door handles, scientists have revealed.

Experts have claimed that viruses left behind on surfaces such as light switches and handles are not strong enough to make a person ill.

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At the start of the pandemic in March experts said that touching surfaces and then putting your hands to your mouth and face could increase your risk of catching the virus.

It was also previously found that the virus could live on surfaces for up to three days and shops encouraged people to not touch anything they did not intend to buy in order to protect customers.

Supermarkets now also provide customers with antibacterial spray that you are able to use to disinfect your trolley or basket before use.

Hand sanitiser is also offered to customers on entry.

Experts at the University of California have now said that “the surface issue has essentially gone away”.

Monica Gandhi, who is a professor of medicine at the university said that any virus left behind would not be strong enough to make people ill.



Speaking to science website Nautilus she said: “It’s not [spread] through surfaces. There was a lot of fear at the beginning of the pandemic about fomite transmission.

“We now know the root of the spread is not from touching surfaces and touching your eye.

“It’s from being close to someone spewing virus from their nose and mouth, without in most cases knowing they are doing so.”

This suggests that measures such as constantly spraying surfaces with antibacterial spray may be unnecessary in the fight against the virus.

Professor Gandhi also added that masks do block these particles and added that the droplets "cannot get through the fibres".

She added that the easiest way to catch the virus was by being "exposed to someone else’s mouth and nose secretions".

Research published in the Lancet had previously suggested that particles of the virus left on surfaces carried a small risk of infection.

As the virus started to spread across Europe in March, one study revealed that the virus could survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours.

It also found that the virus could survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

The virus is spread through droplets which are omitted when a person sneezes or coughs and it was previously thought that if these droplets landed on surfaces then a person would be contaminated.

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