Strange coronavirus facts: Survives heat, cold, lives in eyes, lasts long on surfaces

An illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (Reuters)

The COVID-19 coronavirus has infected more than 4.4 million people around the world and claimed the lives of over 300,000.

Scientists around the world have rushed to meticulously study the virus and its methods of transmission in an attempt to find treatments and ultimately a cure and a vaccine. New information about the virus is discovered everyday.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

Here are five strange facts we know about the coronavirus:

Survives heat up to a point

The coronavirus can survive long exposure to high temperatures, according to a French study.

While the high temperatures significantly reduced the effectiveness of the coronavirus, it was still able to replicate, i.e. capable of starting another round of infection in its host.

Only once the scientists heated the coronavirus at a temperature of 92 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes was COVID-19 completely deactivated.

Survives cold for long

The coronavirus can survive up to two years at below freezing temperatures, according to a medical expert from the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

“Research into similar coronavirus strains has shown that, in general, coronaviruses are stable in freezing temperatures and have been shown to survive for up to two years at -20 degrees Celsius,” explained Dr. Mohamad Mooty, Department Chair, Infectious Diseases, Medical Subspecialty Institute, at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Can live in the human eye

The coronavirus can live in a patient’s eye for days after it is no longer detected in the nose, according to a Chinese study.

Talking loudly spreads COVID-19 droplets in air

Fluid droplets ejected from people’s mouths when talking loudly in confined spaces could result in the coronavirus remaining in the air for up to 14 minutes, according to a US study.

The researchers found that loud speech can emit thousands of oral fluid droplets per second.

Survives on certain surfaces

The coronavirus can survive three hours up to several days on some surfaces, depending on the material, according to Cleveland clinic.

Glass: 5 days

Wood: 4 days

Plastic and stainless-steel: 3 days

Cardboard: 24 hours

Copper: 4 hours

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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