Coronavirus (200) Viability of coronavirus (2)

24 March, 2020

In response to the question of Patlin Tukitoga Siligi, Niue" <> (Can someone pls advise on how long does the droplet from a sneeze or from a cough stays alive when its out of someone's mouth., and to amplify Neil's response: A Johns Hopkins University researcher writes ( ): "According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can live in the air and on surfaces between several hours and several days. The study found that the virus is viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper. It is also detectable in the air for three hours."

[*see note below]


Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT

His publications are at and and his blogs are and

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): Thanks Chris, the Johns Hopkins University researcher refers to the same research in the NEJM (reported as a letter rather than a peer-reviewed research paper). The interpretation by the Johns Hopkins researcher may be inaccurate. On the issue of viability in air, the NEJM letter is ambiguous: 'SARS-CoV-2 remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours), with a reduction in infectious titer from 103.5 to 102.7 TCID50 per liter of air.' Survival in air of *at least* 3 hours would be consistent with this statement.]