The Omicron strain can survive longer on plastic surfaces and on human skin than previous variants of the coronavirus, according to Japanese scientists who conducted comparative laboratory experiments.
Researchers led by Dr. Ryohei Hiroshe of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Kyoto Medical University, who made a preliminary publication on medRxiv, according to Reuters, found that on plastic surfaces, the strain remains viable (and dangerous!) for up to 193.5 hours compared to 56 COVID19 watch.
With regard to other strains, then on plastic surfaces:
Alpha mutation lives 191.3 hours, Beta 156.6 hours, Gamma 59.3 hours, Delta 114 hours.
On human skin samples, the mean survival time was 8.6 hours for the original strain (Wuhan), 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11 hours for Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta, and 21.1 hours for Omicron.
However, on the skin, all variants, including Omicron, were completely inactivated after exposure within 15 seconds of application of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The researchers talk about Omicron’s amazing ability to remain infectious, which may have helped him “overtake” the Delta strain and become dominant throughout the world.