Environmental Persistence of SARS CoV-2

Study Location
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Background

SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in respiratory secretions (upper and lower respiratory tract) and faeces. The main route of transmission is considered to be through inhalation of large respiratory droplets or deposition on mucosae. Viral RNA has been detected in blood but there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through contact with blood [1,2].

Contact with contaminated fomites due to persistence of the virus on surfaces [3] is another route implicated in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Faecal-oral and airborne modes have also been considered, but their role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is currently unknown. In order to reduce the risk of infection through fomites, it is essential to establish procedures for the correct disinfection of environments that could have been contaminated with SARS-CoV-2.