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The omicron COVID-19 variant can remain alive on your skin for almost a day and more than 8 days on plastic surfaces and that is why it might be ‘highly infectious’, a recent study reveals, as reported by Reuters

Japanese researchers found in laboratory tests that “Its high ‘environmental stability’- its ability to remain infectious - might have helped Omicron replace Delta as the dominant variant and spread rapidly"

On plastic surfaces, average survival times of the original strain and the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants were 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114.0 hours, respectively. That compared to 193.5 hours for Omicron, it revealed. 

On skin samples from cadavers, average virus survival times were 8.6 hours for the original version, 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11.0 hours Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta and 21.1 hours for Omicron, it also said. 

Can be inactivated in just 15 seconds

On skin, all of the variants were completely inactivated by 15 seconds of exposure to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. "Therefore," the researchers conclude, "it is highly recommended that current infection control (hand hygiene) practices use disinfectants... as proposed by the World Health Organization."

 

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