Natural sunlight rapidly inactivates SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on surfaces
CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)
Oxford Academic - The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Previous studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 is stable on surfaces for extended periods under indoor conditions. In the present study, simulated sunlight rapidly inactivated SARS-CoV-2 suspended in either simulated saliva or culture media and dried on stainless steel coupons. Ninety percent of infectious virus was inactivated every 6.8 minutes in simulated saliva and every 14.3 minutes in culture media when exposed to simulated sunlight representative of the summer solstice at 40oN latitude at sea level on a clear day. Significant inactivation also occurred, albeit at a slower rate, under lower simulated sunlight levels. The present study provides the first evidence that sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, these data indicate that natural sunlight may be effective as a disinfectant for contaminated non-porous materials.
Over and over we've been told "to stay home" but increasingly, it is being shown that this virus tends to spread faster and easier indoor than outdoor.
So 'stay at home' should be replaced with 'stay outdoors in the sunshine', of course with the caution to use sunscreen and keep your distance from others as viruses can still spread from coughs and sneezes.
Researchers led by Shanna Ratnesar-Shumate from the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, Operated by BNBI for the US Department of Homeland Security, have found that simulated sunlight could effectively kill severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that is responsible for the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The study titled, “Simulated Sunlight Rapidly Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on Surfaces,” was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.