How useful is it to spray public spaces with disinfectants? Does it serve to avoid infections? We review some of the latest research in this regard. Disinfect surfaces to fight against coronavirus.
The virus is transmitted through invisible respiratory droplets that spread through the air and can be inhaled by close people or end up on surfaces that other people can touch.
In so many countries most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), stamps of trucks abound, spraying streets and crews with backpacks full of disinfectant liquids with which they spray interiors of trains, parks, and squares.
Many recommendations warn us to wash our hands and disinfect the surfaces often touched in our home.
1. What is the most effective way to prevent exposure to the virus?
“It is unknown how long the virus causing COVID-19 survives on a surface, but it appears to behave like other coronaviruses.
Studies (including available preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) indicate that coronaviruses can survive on a surface from a few hours to several days.
The time may vary depending on the conditions (for example, the type of surface, the temperature or the humidity of the environment).
If you think that a surface may be infected, clean it with a common disinfectant to kill the virus and thereby protect yourself and others.
Wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. “Exactly this is what the WHO recommends on its official website, but is it useful?
The time may vary depending on the conditions. The WHO recommends using a common disinfectant against the virus.
Like other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is thought to spread most often through invisible airborne respiratory droplets inhaled by people close to or land. On surfaces that other people can touch.
The good news is one of the typical household disinfectants, including soap or solutions based on diluted bleach, can deactivate the coronavirus, destroying the protective fat layer that these infectious agents have.
“As studies of other existing coronaviruses have revealed, both in humans and animals, diluted alcohol and bleach generally inactivate this type of virus, including those of this strain.
Each disinfectant acts differently in each virus, but generally, coronaviruses end up being inactivated “, the expert explains to National Geographic Spain.
“Diluted alcohol and bleach inactivate coronaviruses, including those of this strain.”
2. Coronavirus persistence – Disinfect Surfaces to Fight Coronavirus
So how long does SARS-CoV-2 last in the air or on surfaces? It will depend on the surface. In a preliminary study published on medRxiv, the virus persists in the air for up to 3 hours and 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.
In research recently published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, the researchers found that a related coronavirus that causes SARS can resist nine days on nonporous surfaces, such as the materials described above.
And, according to some recently released reports, SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in feces, suggesting that the virus could be spread by people who do not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom.
But so far, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has explained that there is no symptom that it spreads through swimming pools, drinking water, and hot tubs.
3. What about the outdoors? – Disinfect Surfaces to Fight Coronavirus
According to a difference of local news reports from cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou and South Korea, the most commonly used disinfectant outdoors is a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite or household bleach.
However, it is not clear that this solution destroys these viruses on external surfaces because, according to the researchers, ultraviolet (UV) light can break the molecules that make up the lye and reduce their effectiveness. Dr. León asserts that, to date, there are no definitive studies on this topic.
It is noticeable that the use of this disinfectant is not a panacea since it is not harmless to humans. It can irritate the mucosa and is a contaminating agent so, is it useful to disinfect with bleach all the streets of the city?.
“Common disinfectants have the advantage that they can inactivate other infectious agents”
“It is true that each virus is different from the other (for example, norovirus, which causes gastroenteritis, they are resistant to alcohol, but coronaviruses are susceptible)” With that in mind, the expert says, common disinfectants will probably inactivate this strain of coronavirus. But until that happens, the best way to protect yourself remains to avoid direct contact.
4. Tips to avoid the spread of the coronavirus
As a list of tips to avoid contagion and stop the curve of coronavirus infections, you should:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Reduce contact with other people, especially if they are a population at risk.
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, either with the inside of the elbow or with disposable tissues.
- Don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with your hand fingers.
- Wash your hands with soap or sanitizers regularly for at least 20 seconds.
- Wearing masks and shields to protect against virus from person-to-person transmission.
- Keep your physical distance from other people, especially for those who are infected.