Copper: enemy of SARS-CoV-2

How long does the SARS-CoV-2 virus last on different surfaces? The question was recently answered in an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine, where scientists sprayed the virus on different surfaces, to check its durability in the environment.

It is already known that the coronavirus – its best-known name – spreads through droplets of saliva that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even speaks. Given the ease of transmission, a group of scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, along with other researchers, simulated what the spread of the virus would be like in the air and on different surfaces.

Plastic, cardboard, stainless steel and, of course, copper. These were the surfaces investigated by the scientists, who determined that the virus remains more stable in plastic and steel for up to 3 days after contamination. In cardboard, the SARS-CoV-2 survived up to a day.

But copper made the difference, it was the most hostile surface tested, where the virus only lasted four hours. Although the antibacterial property of red metal, which manages to eliminate bacteria and germs, is highly known, this discovery opens a door to continue innovating in health.

It should be noted that there are various initiatives linked to people’s health which use copper as a base in Chile. An example of this is the use of copper surfaces in the attention desks of the Migration Investigations Police of the Santiago Airport, the ICU room of the Copper Hospital that uses the metal in different objects, or the application of copper in the turnstiles of access to fairground attractions of the Fantasilandia amusement park.

Why the virus can survive longer on some surfaces than others remains a mystery. For scientists, it could be related to the consistency of the surface, where cardboard is more porous than steel, plastic or copper. However