Coronavirus transforms into a microscopic pancake-like film and may be contagious on surfaces for DAYS, the study found.
- More than 99.9% of the liquid in a coronavirus droplet evaporates within minutes
- However, the virus survives because the dried stems turn into a pancake-like film
- It sticks to a surface for hours and can be contagious if touched
- Scientists recommend regular surface cleaning to make sure there are no covid habitats
Cornavirus particles land on any surface and transform into a short form for a few days after a dry, pancake-like film evaporates into the droplets.
This transformation causes more than 9.9 percent of the droplet liquid to disappear within minutes, but the remaining fluid of the virus survives in a protective film.
Tiny forces keep the film, which is only nanometer thick, stuck to a surface and slow down the evaporation process.
The film evaporates completely at different times, with a large drop on stainless steel and copper lasting only 24 and 16 hours, respectively, depending on what it landed on.
However, it can survive in polypropylene for more than 150 hours. A tiny droplet, a tenth of the size, stays on the glass for more than 80 hours.
These figures are based on experiments conducted on lab conditions, and probably less in the real world where there is a variable amount of heat and air flow – factors that encourage evaporation
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The film (bottom) covers the same amount of area as the same radius (top) as the radius (top) and the initial angle of inclination. The only measure that changes is its vertical height
Rajneesh Bharadwaj and Amit Agarwal, professors at IIT Bombay, specialize in understanding how virus droplets can spread disease using computer modeling and physics.
They have previously reduced the cloud size of infectious coronavirus particles caused by coughing by wearing a face mask 23 times.
Coronavirus particles landing on any surface from sneezing and coughing remain contagious for several hours as water evaporates at the point and turns from a sphere into a pancake-like microscopic film (stock).
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Scientists say these substances are high risk because coronavirus-infected stems do not evaporate quickly from these surfaces.
Both glass and stainless steel are hydrophilic, which means they attract water. This encourages evaporation as the water spreads around the surface.
In film form, the coronavirus can tolerate if left unattended on the hydrophobic bottom for several hours and even days.
The only measure that varies is the vertical height of the film, which covers the same amount as the stem, the same radius and the initial angle of erection.
Data from a study published in Fluid’s Physics show that the amount of coronaviruses in the film is consistent until the thickness of the film gradually decreases over this period.
‘Our biggest surprise was that the drying time of this nanometric film lasted a few hours,’ Vardwaj said.
‘This suggests that the surface is not completely dry, and that slowly the vapor nanometric film is providing the coronavirus with the necessary means to survive.’
The researchers say their findings suggest that the virus can survive in a functional form for a long time and emphasize the need to clean the surface regularly.
“It is recommended to disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles or hand-held devices and the risk of outbreaks in hospitals and other areas,” Agarwal said.
‘We also recommend heating surfaces, because even short-term high temperatures, where the surface is at a higher temperature than the environment, can help the nanometric film evaporate and destroy viruses.’