Zika Virus Can Live On Hard Surfaces For Hours, Researchers Say

The fact that Zika virus can be transmitted through mosquito bites or sexual contact are well-known by people. Now, a new research raises the prospect that the Zika virus might be able to survive for several hours on hard, nonporous surfaces. The findings were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), in San Diego. According to the researchers, there's good news here since the common disinfectants are highly effective at killing any virus that lands on flat surfaces.

What Is Zika Virus?

Zika virus is a member of the Flaviviridae family and is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It is related to other pathogenic vector borne flaviviruses including dengue, West-Nile and Japanese encephalitis viruses but produces a comparatively mild disease in humans. As mentioned by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Network, since 2007 Zika virus has caused several outbreaks in the Pacific, and since 2015 it further spread in the Americas and so far, there is no evidence of transmission Zika virus in Europe.

News about Zika virus transmission to humans is through a bite from an infected mosquito or from an infected human to another human. Zika can be also passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. What is not well known is that the virus also can be transmitted via the environment if an individual is pricked with an infected needle or has an open cut and comes in contact with the live virus. This information is presented by the Science Daily in an article saying that Zika virus can live for hours on hard, non-porous surfaces.

Zika Virus Can Live On Hard Surfaces For Hours

Zhou said the study did not yet look at the survivability of Zika on hard non-porous surfaces beyond eight hours. "Zika can survive on hard, nonporous surfaces for as long as eight hours, possibly longer when the environment contains blood, which is more likely to occur in the real world," said lead researcher S. Steve Zhou. "The good news is that we found that disinfectants such as isopropyl alcohol and quaternary ammonium/alcohol are generally effective in killing the virus in this type of environment and can do so in a little as 15 seconds."

The researchers are sure that the micro-bacterial research, bleach and peracetic acid were not as effective in killing Zika virus when the virus is associated with blood. "The data were important to know especially for healthcare providers and researchers," Zhou said. "One must bear the organic load of the environment such as blood, in mind, before reaching a conclusion about the Zika virus inactivation efficacy by a particular product." Next stage of the research will take a depth look at how long Zika survives on hard non-porous surfaces.


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