As health officials continue to tackle the spread of coronavirus, scientists are working to understand exactly how the virus is transmitted and how long it is viable without a host.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching one’s mouth, nose or possibly eyes. However, experts say this is not the main way the virus spreads.
COVID-19 has a generally poor survivability on surfaces and poses a low risk of spread from one person to another through contact of a shared surface, CDC officials said.
A study by the Journal of Hospital Infection found that other strains of coronavirus have the potential to remain on metal, glass and plastic surfaces for two hours to nine days. According to the World Health Organization, the virus is unable to survive for long periods of time on packages or letters.
COVID-19 is primarily spread through person-to-person contact, typically within a 6 foot radius of an infected person, and is transmitted through respiratory droplets from the cough or sneeze, WHO officials said.
According to experts, these infected droplets can can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.