Covid-19 updates: Here’s how environmental factors affect the stability of the coronavirus in humans

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Environmental conditions affect the stability of the novel coronavirus in nasal mucus and human sputum, and study suggests there could be seasonal outbreaks of COVID-19 in the post-pandemic period if the weather favors the spread of the disease .

Houston | By Press Trust of India | Posted By: Alfea Jamal

Environmental conditions affect the stability of the novel coronavirus in nasal mucus and human sputum, according to a study that suggests there may be seasonal outbreaks of COVID-19 in the post-pandemic period if the weather favors the spread of the disease. sickness.

Researchers, including Jeremiah Matson of Marshall University in the United States, noted that the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is less stable at higher humidity and warmer temperatures. In the study, published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, SARS-CoV-2 was mixed with samples of human nasal mucus and sputum, which were then exposed to three different sets of temperature and humidity for seven days maximum. Scientists said samples were collected throughout the study and analyzed for the presence of infectious viruses as well as RNA-only viral genetic material, which is not infectious. They said viral RNA was consistently detectable throughout the seven-day study, while infectious virus was detectable for almost 12 to 48 hours, depending on environmental conditions.

“The virus is more stable under conditions of low temperature and low humidity, while higher temperature and higher humidity shorten the half-life,” the scientists noted in the study. Due to the reduced surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 in nasal mucus and human sputum under warmer and wetter conditions, scientists believe there may be a decrease in transmission of the virus in these scenarios. environmental. “The influence of climate on SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates could potentially lead to seasonal epidemic dynamics in a postpandemic period,” the researchers noted.

In another study, published this month in Emerging Infectious Diseases, a team of researchers including Matson evaluated the effectiveness of decontamination and reuse of N95 respirators against SARS-CoV-2. They found that vaporized hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet light were the most effective in decontaminating masks if a proper fit and seal was maintained.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a sobering reminder that infectious diseases continue to be a major threat to public health and require a sustained commitment to research,” Matson said.

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