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Old 02-13-2020, 03:19 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,032

How long can a virus survive outside of a host?

The other night a guy I know suggested that you need to be careful about puncturing bubble-wrap that came from China, since it might have air contaminated with Coronavirus. I think the guy was kidding or at least partially so, but in any event I myself think even in the highly unlikely event that an infected person was on hand when the bubble-wrap was produced and there was virus in that air, there's no way the virus would survive without a host long enough to infect you in America.

But I got to wondering. How long could a virus survive without a host? Suppose a person who had a virus breathed/sneezed/whatever on some inanimate surface, how long after that point could another person get infected from contact with that surface?
Old 02-13-2020, 03:29 PM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 13,454
Depends on the virus.

It can be minutes, it could be months. Given the right circumstances, flu viruses can remain active up to 24 hours. Rhinovirus could survive on an indoor surface for several days. Norovirus or hepatitis A can survive, in certain conditions, for weeks. C. difficile can survive 5 months. All of these mainly on hard, non-porous surfaces. How they would fare in a bubble-wrap bubble, my WAG is probably significantly less time.

Last edited by DCnDC; 02-13-2020 at 03:31 PM.
Old 02-13-2020, 03:40 PM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 12,673
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
C. difficile
Not a virus.


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