Coronavirus cannot spread easily by touching surfaces: US CDC

Virus believed to spread mainly through close contact with another person via respiratory droplets

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(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo)

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Those worried about catching COVID-19 through touching contaminated surfaces can now breathe a sigh of relief, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its updated guidelines has said the virus is not easily spread this way.

In March, a preliminary study suggested that the virus remains in the air for up to three hours and on surfaces, such as plastic or stainless steel, up to three days, leading many to constantly disinfect their surroundings.

However, the study had not been peer-reviewed at the time, Yahoo reported.

Recently, the American CDC changed its guidelines with regard to touching contaminated surfaces. The danger is now considered comparable to other low-risk transmission methods, including "from animals to people" and "from people to animals."

"It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes," the CDC guidelines now read. "This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more...”

Regarding concerns about transmission of the disease through food, the guidelines point out: "Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

According to the guidelines, the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly between people in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 1.82 meters) "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks."