Omicron Can Survive Much Longer On The Skin, And Even Longer On Plastic Surfaces

According to new research by Japanese scientists, the COVID-19 Omicron variant can survive longer on plastic surfaces and human skin compared to the other COVID variants.

Omicron lived considerably longer than the original strain in a series of laboratory tests, according to a study by a team from Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine.

omicron can survive much longer on the skin, and even longer on plastic surfacesPhoto via India TV

They came to the conclusion that Omicron's high "environmental stability," or propensity to remain infectious, may have aided it in displacing Delta as the dominant form and spreading more quickly.

The study author wrote: "Our analysis demonstrated that Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants had more than two-fold higher survival periods on plastic and skin surfaces than the Wuhan strain and sustained infectivity for more than 16 hours on the skin surfaces."

The original strain, as well as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants had average survival periods of 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114 hours on plastic surfaces, respectively.

The Omicron variant could stay up to 193.5 hours which is equivalent to eight days, while on the skin, Omicron lasts for over 21 hours.

"This investigation found that among all the VOCs (Variants of Concerns), the Omicron variant had the highest environmental stability. This high stability could be one of the causes that has allowed the Omicron to spread rapidly."

omicron can survive much longer on the skin, and even longer on plastic surfacesPhoto via The Straits Times

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Omicron is now prevalent in all EU countries and has become the dominant variant, continuing to be a serious problem around the world. 

There’s still a long way to go, guys. 

Don’t be complacent. Please get yourself vaccinated ASAP, and remember to always follow the SOPs like wearing a face mask when you’re out in public, wash your hands regularly and maintain physical distance.

Take care, guys!

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat