The latest research shows that the Omicron variant has been proven to survive on plastic surfaces for eight days and 21 hours on human skin.
Based on the study, the survival rate for Omicron has been discovered to be longer than other previous alarming variants such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. The study, although not yet officially published, analyzed the differences in viral environmental stability between the original COVID-19 strain from Wuhan and all variants.
The results of the study revealed that Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants had twice as long survival rates on plastic surfaces and human skin, compared to the Wuhan strains. In fact, the four types of variants still possess a high infectious rate if they remain on the surface of the skin for a period of 16 hours.
The study also reveals Omicron is able to survive for about 21.1 hours on human corpse skin models, followed by Wuhan virus (8.6 hours), Gamma (11 hours), and Delta (16.8 hours), while the Alpha variant is proven to survive for 19.6 hours, and beta 19.1 hours. Above all, the Omicron variant has the highest rate amongst all COVID-19 variants.
"This high rate of stability is likely among the factors behind Omicron's ability to replace Delta variants and spread at a faster rate," said researchers from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan. In addition, the research team discovered that Omicron was able to survive for 193.5 hours or about eight days on a plastic surface (polystyrene), which is three times that of the original strain (56 hours), Gamma variant (59.3 hours), Delta ( 114 hours) and Beta (156.6 hours).
That being said, only the Alpha variant has a survival rate on plastic surfaces that is almost the same as the Omicron, which is 191.3 hours. The research team concluded that the high rate of environmental stability among all the variants is able to increase the risk of infection and contribute to the transmission of variants.
Although the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants recorded an increased resistance to ethanol, the latest study revealed that the survival rate of the mentioned variants on the skin surface was only able to survive for 15 seconds after exposure to alcohol-based disinfectant fluids.
In this regard, the research team strongly encourages hand hygiene practices and the frequency of use of disinfectant fluids with appropriate alcohol concentrations, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In short, please adhere to the SOPs folks. We're not entirely out of the woods, yet.
Source: Berita Harian