- Live Stories
- Young Minds
Health in Your Hands
COVID-19 virus can sustain itself for up to a month in dust: Study
The study added that the envelope, which is the crown-like spiked sphere containing the virus material could break over time in dust.
A new study claims that COVID-19 can sustain itself for up to a month in dust. The virus’ RNA, which constitutes the genetic material, was found to be lingering in rooms where coronavirus patients were isolated.
Even though the study did not evaluate whether dust is capable of transmitting the virus among humans, it could hold the secret to successfully monitoring patients caught in outbreaks across buildings and offices. As people return to shared spaces, studying dust could help stop further infections.
The study was published in mSystems journal on April 13, 2021 and found that some of the genetic material of the virus was able to survive in dust.
The study added that the envelope, which is the crown-like spiked sphere containing the virus material could break over time in dust. The envelope plays an important role in how the virus is transmitted among humans.
Many countries have undertaken evaluation of wastewater and sewage to understand the prevalence of coronavirus in a given community. Based on this, governments are able to estimate the severity of the outbreak, even if people were asymptomatic.
Monitoring dust works in a similar fashion, and could help understand the prevalence of coronavirus in spaces like hospitals and schools.
Researchers from the Ohio State University worked with crews who cleaned the rooms that were home to patients who had COVID-19. They also collected samples from homes where people tested positive. In addition, researchers collected vacuum bags containing dust from the infected homes, along with swabs from surfaces in the rooms.
They found that the genetic material from COVID-19 was able to sustain in 97 per cent of the dust samples and in 55 per cent of surface swabs.