Omicron survives over 21 hours on skin, more than 8 days on plastic: Study | World News - Hindustan Times
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Omicron survives over 21 hours on skin, more than 8 days on plastic: Study

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Jan 26, 2022 01:54 PM IST

In contrast to Omicron, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants could remain alive on plastic surfaces for 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114 hours, respectively.

A study conducted by the researchers from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan has now claimed that the Omiron variant of coronavirus can remain alive on skin and plastic more than the earlier variants of the virus like Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma. The study is yet to be peer-reviewed and has been posted recently on BioRxiv. According to the findings, Omicron can remain alive on the skin for over 21 hours and more than eight days on any plastic surface. This might be the reason why Omicron is spreading faster compared to other strains, the study said.

A health worker inoculates a child in Peru's Lima.  (AFP)
A health worker inoculates a child in Peru's Lima.  (AFP)

For the study, the researchers compared the survival time of the other variants and concluded that the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants could remain alive on plastic surfaces for 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114 hours, respectively.

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Omicron, on the other hand, can survive on a plastic surface for 193.5 hours, more than 8 days.

On skin samples, the average virus survival times were 8.6 hours for the original version, 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11 hours for Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta and 21.1 hours for Omicron, the study claimed.

The findings also include the effectiveness of ethanol on all variants. Although Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants showed a slight increase in ethanol resistance in response to increased environmental stability, all VOCs on the skin surface were completely inactivated by 15-second exposure to 35 per cent ethanol, it said, asserting that santisiting hands frequently is highly recommended.

Omicron is the latest variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first identified in South Africa on November 24, 2021. Since then, the variant has been spreading at an unprecedented spread replacing Delta, and led to a fresh surge of the pandemic across the world. 

(With PTI inputs)

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