Coronavirus can be transmitted through a contaminated surface
An infected person might not necessarily be sick... the virus can still reside and transmit
Coronavirus, 1/900th size of a human hair is causing extensive concern across the globe with travellers facing trouble, tourists facing lockdown, tourist spots in a spot, stock markets getting flippy and hospitals overburdened with maintaining their sanity due to the exodus of cases, both positive as well as suspect.
Now that the novel coronavirus has entered India with a vengeance (till 24 hrs ago India was the least affected), Udaipur was not to be left behind, as this small and beautiful town witnesses major tourist inflow this time of the year.
With plenty of messages going around on social media as to how one can be protected from the COVID-19, here is another filtered piece of advice, which keeps myths at bay.
Since the virus is new and experts are also researching on this phenomenon, here is a guide to make the readers understand how this virus can be transmitted and how it does not.
Will my Crossing Paths with a Sick person get me Sick?
If you happen to enter a crowded place and another person near you has the virus on him, then you need to address four factors - how close you get to them; how long you are near the person; does the infected person project viral droplets on you; and how much of the viral droplets touch your face.
Explaining VIRAL DROPLETS
These are droplets that emanate from your mouth or nose as you cough, talk, laugh, sneeze, sing or breathe. A naked virus cannot go anywhere unless it hitches a ride with a droplet of Mucus or Saliva. If the naked virus rides on these droplets (viral droplets), they will land on the ground if they dont come in contact with any other object. The viral droplets enter the recipient through the nose, mouth or eyes. Taking face to face with someone or sharing a meal could pose a risk.
Too Close... is How Close
It is best to stay a minimum of 3-6 feet away from an infected person. Even from a person who has common cold and is yet too be diagnosed with any further ailment. (WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Who can transmit - Sick or just infected
As indicated by research and the very little experience over the last few months, most symptoms are as little as mild cough and cold. Even those who are infected at times never fall ill. In a growing number of cases, people without symptoms have infected others, as the virus may lie dormant. The WHO still believes though that people who have spread the virus have been ill.
Can the virus be transmitted through a surface
Yes, the virus can be transmitted through a surface. Many people who were infected by the virus in Hong Kong, fell ill after visiting a Buddhist temple. Samples collected show that rerstroom faucets and cloth covers of Buddhist texts tested positive for the coronavirus.
A study of other coronavirus found that the remain on metal, glass and plastic surfaces from 2 hours to 9 days. If an infected person sneezed or coughed and the viral droplet landed on a surface and if the surface was touched by another person, the virus got transmitted.
So as long as you wash your hands before touching your face, it is fine, because the virus is not transmitted through skin.
Hence, touch should be calculated and clean. Food is not a mechanism for spreading, droplets in any form are.