Omicron Variant Proven to Last Longer on Surfaces
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our overall awareness about how infectious diseases work, how to be more health-conscious, and how we behave in public and in gatherings. While the vast majority of attention has been on airborne transmission when it comes to COVID-19, recent research (which, in all fairness, has yet to be peer reviewed) has suggested that newer variants are capable of remaining present on fomites for longer periods of time than the original strain. The study conducted is the first of its kind to include the Omicron variant and examined how long it could be detected on skin and plastic.
This has been raising questions about how we deal with COVID-19 variants and whether other precautions are merited.
What Did the Test Conclude?
The study showed that the Omicron variant was able to survive on surfaces for more than twice as long as the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of COVID-19, lasting up to 193.5 hours on plastic and 21.1 hours on skin. The conclusion one may naturally draw from this data is that such survivability on fomites may be part of the reason that Omicron is so much more infectious than previous strains. However, the research is not yet peer-reviewed, so such conclusions cannot yet be confirmed.
How Omicron Sets Itself Apart
What we do know, however, is that the Omicron variant is 420% more transmissible than the Delta variant, which is 50% more transmissible than the Alpha variant. That is to say, Omicron spreads like wildfire, even when compared to other highly contagious coronavirus strains.
But on the plus side, an evaluation on human skin found that “a 15 second exposure to 35% alcohol was equally effective at inactivating the virus, regardless of the strain.” So even in the event that Omicron’s transmissibility is increased in part due to its survivability on fomites, the good news is that a regular disinfection regimen will keep you out of harm’s way.
What This Means For Businesses
Many businesses already have COVID-19 safety procedures that include (but are not limited to):
- Wearing a facemask indoors
- Maintaining social distance
- Requiring proof of vaccination for events
- Requiring regular handwashing
But because the majority of attention has focused on airborne transmission when it comes to COVID-19, surface-level disinfection has taken somewhat of a backseat in the collective consciousness.
However, companies such as Aftermath have always put emphasis on ensuring well trafficked areas are thoroughly tested and disinfected on a regular basis. Through adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing, we are able to tell if harmful pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, have been inactivated on disinfected surfaces within a household or business. This allows us to determine the best course of action when it comes to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of anyone walking through your doors.
With research organizations worldwide conducting such surface transmissibility tests, it may be time for you to consider a COVID-19 remediation regimen.
Aftermath is Here to Help
Aftermath Services has years of experience in dealing with infectious diseases and biological contaminants, and goes above and beyond to ensure hospital-level sanitization. Our biohazard professionals are trained to perform COVID-19 surface disinfection and indoor air quality testing using our proprietary disinfectants coupled with verification surface testing.
We understand that the health and safety of you, your family, and employees are on the line. Contact us at 877- 695-7054 today to discuss our COVID-19 cleaning methods or to schedule an appointment.
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