The Chinese coronavirus can survive on cruise ship surfaces for more than two weeks, according to a recently released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study, available on the CDC’s website, discovered that the coronavirus survived on surfaces throughout the Diamond Princess cruise ship up to 17 days after passengers and crew had left the ship.
The ship was affected by the virus and had no choice but to end its voyage by quarantining all its crew and guests onboard.
“SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,” the study stated.
Previous studies showed that the virus could only survive for a few days on hard surfaces like steel or plastic. For example, a study from the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the virus could survive for three days on steel or plastic, and a federally funded study found that the virus could survive in the air for up to three hours.
Cruise ships in particular have been identified as epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak. Several cruise ships containing passengers or crew with the virus have been denied entry at ports for fear of spreading the disease.
More than 700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship with nine deaths reported among crew members and passengers.
Japanese authorities quarantined all 3,711 people on board, which some say resulted in spreading the virus even more.