Door Paul Shindman, World Israel News
A Japanese research team published the results of a new study showing that the coronavirus can survive on human skin for up to nine hours, further underlining the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The team of researchers from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Medical Faculty of the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine published their results in the Journal of Clinical Infections Diseasescomparing the survival rate of the coronavirus to the lifespan of common flu viruses on human skin.
“The 9-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission compared to IAV (flu), accelerating the pandemic. Good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections, ”the report concluded.
The researchers conducted the study because they said little was known about the stability of the coronavirus on human skin.
While many people around the world have become accustomed to washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, the study also found that the ethyl alcohol in most hand sanitizers also kills the coronavirus within 15 seconds.
Particles with the regular flu virus remain active for an average of 1.8 hours, but the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can remain active on the skin for nine hours. However, if the coronavirus gets into your respiratory system or other parts of the body with mucous membranes, it can stay alive for up to 11 hours and be capable of infection.
On Sunday, Israel began relaxing the national coronavirus lockdown imposed last month, below which the infection rate continues to decline. Israelis are no longer limited to within a mile of their home, small businesses can open without letting customers in, daycare for children up to six years old has reopened, restaurants are now allowed to open for takeout orders, and beaches and national parks have reopened.
“I ask you all to follow the rules; they save lives. Together we will be able to lift the lockdown, ”Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday at the start of the cabinet meeting.
The Israeli Ministry of Health has been running a nationwide ad campaign for several months urging Israelis to adhere to the three main health guidelines: wear a face mask, keep their distance and wash their hands regularly.
Israel’s Phase 9 is expected to continue through February, with additional relaxation of restrictions every two weeks, as long as infection rates continue to decline.
On Friday morning, the ministry announced that the infection rate continued to decline, with 33,484 Israelis currently sick with the virus. Of these, 1,212 have been hospitalized, 683 of which are in serious condition, down from about 200 in the past two weeks.
The death toll in Israel since the start of the pandemic is 2,202, with more than 500 dead in the last month alone.