How Can you contract COVID-19 from touching surfaces?

When the COVID-19 epidemic broke last year, it was still mostly unknown, and no one understood how it would act. The possibility of COVID-19 spreading through contaminated surfaces, known as fomites, was underlined in WHO recommendations released in February 2020. A study released in March 2020 focused heavily on fomites and, as a result, on extensive cleaning, which necessitated the use of disinfectants. Touching any surface, be it a doorknob, a metro rail pole, or an escalator handlebar, had become dangerous by this point. SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was shown to survive for up to three days on plastic and steel surfaces in a laboratory research. In this aspect, however, there has been a paradigm change.


On May 29, India recorded 1.73 lakh new Covid-19 cases, continuing a downward trend. The death toll for the day, however, remained above 3,500. The metropolis, Delhi, had roughly 900 instances, the lowest number in a single day.


Can you contract COVID-19 from touching surfaces?


What is a coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a brand-new coronavirus strain.

The condition caused by a new coronavirus discovered in Wuhan, China, has been dubbed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with the letters CO standing for corona, VI for virus, and D for disease.

This illness was previously known as the ‘2019 novel coronavirus,' or ‘2019-nCoV.' The COVID-19 virus is a novel virus that belongs to the same viral family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and several ordinary colds.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are all possible symptoms. Infection can lead to pneumonia or respiratory problems in more serious situations. The illness might be lethal in rare cases. These symptoms resemble those of the flu or a regular cold, both of which are far more prevalent than COVID-19. This is why testing is necessary to determine whether or not someone has COVID-19. It's crucial to remember that the most critical preventative actions are the same across the board: regular hand washing and good respiratory hygiene (cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue into a closed bin).

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

Health experts are focusing on stopping the spread of the new coronavirus, which has been detected all around the world. Understanding how coronavirus spreads allows you to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming ill and infecting others. 

  • Droplets or aerosols - this is the most prevalent way of transmitting information. Droplets or small particles called aerosols transport the virus into the air from an infected person's nose or mouth when they cough, sneeze, or talk. It may be breathed into the lungs by anybody within 6 feet of that individual.
  • Airborne transmission -According to studies, the virus may survive in the air for up to three hours. If someone with it breathes out and you breathe that air in, it can go into your lungs. Experts disagree on how frequently the virus spreads by airborne transmission and how much it adds to the pandemic.
  • Surface transmission - Touching surfaces that have been coughed or sneezed on by someone who has the virus is a less prevalent way. You might come into contact with a contaminated counter top or doorknob and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. For 2-3 days, the virus may survive on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel. To put an end to it, clean and disinfect any counter tops, knobs, and other surfaces that you and your family come into contact with.
  • Fecal-oral - Virus particles have also been identified in the excrement of sick persons, according to studies. However, researchers aren't clear if the sickness may spread through touch with infected people's feces. If that individual goes to the restroom without washing their hands, they risk infecting the items and persons they come into contact with.

Coronavirus on Surfaces

The coronavirus can survive on surfaces, according to research. According to research published in the Novel England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in April, the new coronavirus may live for up to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel, and up to 1 day on cardboard. Another Chinese study discovered that the virus may spread through the soles of shoes.

Studies have only shown that the virus can survive on surfaces, not that it can be contracted by contacting them. "They don't establish that it can be communicated merely because it can live on a surface," experts argue.

In two of the situations, surface transmission may have had a role. A recent Chinese research indicated that the virus might be transmitted via an elevator button, while another examination of cases in a South African hospital indicated that infected medical equipment may have aided in the spread of the infection.

How Simple Is It to Become Infected from Covid-19?

According to researchers, every individual who has COVID-19 will pass it on to 2 or 2.5 other people on average. According to one research, a single ill individual can infect between 4.7 and 6.6 additional people.

In comparison, someone who has the flu is likely to infect 1.1 to 2.3 people on average. One individual with measles, on the other hand, may infect 12 to 18 others.

Although children are less likely to become infected with the coronavirus and have milder symptoms than adults, research has shown that they can still get and spread it. Some have been gravely ill and even died as a result of their actions.

How can I avoid the Risk of Infection?

Here are four precautions you and your family can take to avoid infection:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand massage.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or a tissue. Dispose of used tissues as soon as possible.
  • If you or someone you know develops a cold or flu-like symptom, stay away from them.
  • If you or your kid develops a fever, cough, or trouble breathing, get medical help as soon as possible.

Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The illness is conveyed mostly by respiratory droplets exhaled by a coughing person. Infected people who don't display symptoms can still transfer the infection to others. Many persons with COVID-19, on the other hand, simply have minor symptoms. This is especially true when the illness is in its early stages. As a result, catching COVID-19 is a possibility.

Should I wear a mask?

Even if you have no symptoms, wearing a mask is recommended to protect others.

To ensure that masks are effective and to reduce an increased risk of virus transmission, they must be used and disposed of appropriately once they have been used.

A mask alone will not prevent illnesses; it must be used in conjunction with frequent hand washing with soap and maintaining physical distance.

What is a vaccine?

A vaccination is a chemical that encourages your immune system to generate antibodies, which are blood proteins created in reaction to a foreign material, in the same way as it would if you were exposed to the illness itself. You gain immunity to the illness after vaccination, which means you won't get sick if you become infected.


Is it still necessary for me to wear a mask after I've been vaccinated?

Yes, indeed. According to Bar-Zeev and other specialists, preventative practices will be required even when vaccination rates rise. "Not only will high vaccination uptake be required to minimize transmission, but so will persistent social separation and masks," he says. And, he adds, "herd protection" may need high vaccination rates in low-risk populations, "so [that] poses ethical problems."


All you need to know about Corona Virus in India | UNICEF India

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