The role of the healthcare surface environment in SARS-CoV-2 transmission and potential control measures

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 28:ciaa1467. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1467. Online ahead of print.


The healthcare environment serves as one of the possible routes of transmission of epidemiologically important pathogens, but the role of the contaminated environment on SARS-CoV-2 transmission remains unclear. We reviewed survival, contamination, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via environmental surfaces and shared medical devices as well as environmental disinfection of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. Coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, have been demonstrated to survive for hours to days on environmental surfaces depending on experimental conditions. The healthcare environment is frequently contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 RNA in most studies but without evidence of viable virus. Although direct exposure to respiratory droplets is the main transmission route of SARS-CoV-2, the contaminated healthcare environment can potentially result in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as described with other coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. It is important to improve thoroughness of cleaning/disinfection practice in healthcare facilities and select effective disinfectants to decontaminate inanimate surfaces and shared patient care items.

PMID:32985671 | PMC:PMC7543309 | DOI:10.1093/cid/ciaa1467

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