Primary Menu

Coronavirus Information Report

Beautiful young woman makes cleaning the house. Girl rubs dust.

A lot of people are trying to figure out how contagious this awful Coronavirus is, and I specifically wanted to compare it to the flu. So if you’ve ever wondered how long the flu lives on surfaces vs coronavirus, read closely.

Alison Carey, MD, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Drexel University, tells Health. “Flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces (like bus poles) and infect another person for 24 to 48 hours,” she says. “Cold viruses don’t survive as long—usually a few hours. But there is evidence that they can survive and be passed on for up to 24 hours.”

As far as coronavirus, the real answer is that we don’t know. We haven’t had enough time to study this contagious infection. However, the CDC found traces of COVID-19 on surfaces in the cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship — 17 days after passengers had left the cabins.

In time we will learn more, until then, just keep clean.