Experts weigh-in on the life span of the coronavirus

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(CBS News)- With the spread of coronavirus, people now even seem to be second-guessing the surfaces they touch.

There are conflicting ideas about how long a virus can live, but the CDC says it can be viable for hours to days.

From your door knob to a communal table, do you know what lingers on the surface?

Early research by scientists at the National Institute of Health suggests the virus could be detected up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

“Somehow between three to nine days that’s what we were hearing from different surfaces and then on plastic and wood and on the windowsill or even your clothing it doesn’t have the same lifetime,” said Professor Sean Banaee from Old Dominion University.

Banaee says how long the virus lasts depends on different surfaces and environments.

“One is moist, [and] one is temperature for which coronoa. It sounds like [it likes] lower temperatures.”

So even as the weather changes, researchers could learn more. But the type of surface can make a difference.

Public health officials say you’re more likely to pick up the viruses from stainless steel surfaces than money, for example.

That’s not to cause alarm, but rather a reason to keep yourself awareness.

While these studies may be ever-changing and at times – conflicting, one thing seems to ring true.

“This [coronavirus] is very aggressive and that’s why it’s happening right now,” said Muge Akpinar-Elci with Community  & Environmental Health.

That’s why prevention is so important.

Disinfect surfaces that are frequently used such as keyboards or desks and any shared areas.

Killing the virus before it spreads can make all the difference.

“We need to know the acts that everyone needs to understand the facts and how they can prevent it themselves,” said Akpinar-Elci.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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