January 30, 2021
All those instructions to disinfect everything at the start the pandemic may have been for naught â€” or made matters worse â€” according to scientists who are coming clean about an early COVID-19 misconception.
Disinfectants were worth their weight in gold in early 2020 after the
medical community advised people to wipe down packages, groceries and
any other foreign items entering the relative safety of their bubble.
It may have been overkill, according to Emanuel Goldman, a Rutgers
"In hospitals, surfaces have been tested near COVID-19 patients, and no infectious virus can be identified,â€ Goldman said, according to NPR. "They donâ€™t find infectious virus, and thatâ€™s because the virus is very fragile in the environment â€” it decays very quickly.â€
All that is left behind is viral RNA â€” what Goldman describes as the corpse of the virus â€” which does not pose an infection risk. It is a substantial sea change from January and February when preliminary research suggested the virus could live on surfaces for days, raising fears that people could infect themselves by simply touching the wrong countertop. "All the evidence points toward breathing in the virus from the air as being the most important route of transmission,â€ said Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech specializing in the airborne transmission of infectious diseases.
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