The novel coronavirus outbreak is continuously wreaking havoc around the world, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases in countries like China and Italy, as well as over 5,000 deaths as of writing.
"Patient Zero" Found?
According to data reviewed by the South China Morning Post, "patient zero" of the novel coronavirus might have been a Hubei resident, aged 55, and was documented on November 17, 2020. However, it's yet to be confirmed.
Nevertheless, COVID-19 first came to light in December 2019 when the cases have started rising each day--and now, it's been considered a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
So, why is the new disease spreading around fast?
That could be due to the lifespan of the virus, which, according to a new study published in medRxiv depository, can reach three hours to three days.
Based on the study, which hasn't been peer-reviewed yet, the new coronavirus can stay alive and linger in the air for three hours, while it can remain on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel from two to three days.
That could mean you don't need to have direct contact with the patient to contract the disease. You only need to touch the surface they have touched and brought your hand close to your mouth or nose, and you can contract the disease.
"Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for multiple hours and on surfaces up to days," the study states.
Fox News has previously highlighted another study stating that the new virus can stay much longer on surfaces like plastic, metal, and glass for up to nine days--a stark difference with the lifespan of the common flu that can only stay alive outside of the body for 48 hours.
Importance of Disinfecting
According to the study, which was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, the new coronavirus can be "efficiently inactivated" through disinfectants that have "62% to 71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite."
With that, it is utterly important to disinfect "high-touch" areas such as tables, mobile phones, light switches, and doorknobs with bleach-based disinfectants on a regular basis.
World Health Organization (WHO) encourages people to regularly wash their hands with warm water and high-quality soap for at least 20 seconds and to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.
Social distancing and avoiding mass gatherings are highly encouraged, which led to various events like the annual SXSW event in Austin to cancel.
This Friday, President Trump of the United States has officially declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by The New York Times.
Americans are expected to stay at home for the weekend and the coming days as classes are canceled, and companies are urging their employees to work from home.
According to WHO, the symptoms of COVID-19 is similar to a common cold, including sore throat, runny nose, coughing, and fever, so if you feel any of these, it's best to have yourself checked and be responsible enough to isolate yourself to reduce risks of infecting others.