In the wake of the annual spring cleaning, many are wondering whether they should go into the full pandemic mode or relax a bit after two years of spraying, rubbing, and scrubbing surfaces and corners.
Good News! Results from a new study by the researchers from the University of Utah favor the latter approach. The reason? As it turns out, the risk of developing COVID-19 from an infected surface has been officially given the “highly unlikely” label.
Researchers found that even though the SARS-CoV-2 can survive on different surfaces for days and even weeks, according to some, it quickly loses its ability to infect live cells. How come, you may ask?
The explanation is very simple. The answer lies in the particular proteins in human saliva called mucins. Indeed, the very same saliva that causes the spread of this pathogen through the air protects us from infection through contact with a virus-loaded surface.
While the virus aerosols released by coughing, sneezing, talking, or laughing are still wet, the virus can infect us. However, when they reach the surface, mucins bind to the spikes of the coronavirus and make it harmless and unable to further infect humans.
However, you shouldn’t throw your specialized surface and hardwood floor cleaners just yet.
According to a recent Japanese study, Omicron, the most transmissible coronavirus variant, has higher stability on plastic surfaces and skin than all its predecessors. It can survive on plastic for a staggering 193.5 hours and 21.1 hours on the skin!
So, however small, the chance of picking up viable viruses is still higher with Omicron than all other variants.
All in all, according to both studies, there’s no reason for OCD behaviors this spring, but we should definitely do our best to keep your homes and working spaces clean.