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Study shows how long coronavirus stays infectious on metal, plastic, cardboard

(STUDY FINDS) — LOS ANGELES — The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can contaminate surfaces for several hours or several days depending on the material. But for how long? In addition to testing how the virus can also infect people via aerosols, researchers at UCLA discovered the length of time it can live on common household materials.

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Scientists found that the coronavirus can live for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper surfaces, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and as long as three days on plastic and stainless steel.

“This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain,” says co-author James Lloyd-Smith, a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, in a media release. “If you’re touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands.”

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