Omicron Survives Longer Than the Other Variants

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Reuters News reporter Nancy Lapid writes referring from a recent study that Omicron variant survives much longer on plastic surfaces and human skin.

The study conducted by Japanese researchers in laboratory found that this high environmental stability might have helped to become Omicron more dominant variant around the globe.

“Its high ‘environmental stability‘ – its ability to remain infectious – might have helped Omicron replace Delta as the dominant variant and spread rapidly. On plastic surfaces, average survival times of the original strain and the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants were 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114.0 hours, respectively. That compared to 193.5 hours for Omicron. On skin samples from cadavers, average virus survival times were 8.6 hours for the original version, 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11.0 hours Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta and 21.1 hours for Omicron.”

– Japanese Researchers (source: Reuters News)

The Japanese researchers also reported that “all of the variants were completely inactivated by 15 seconds of exposure to alcohol-based hand sanitizers“.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that current infection control (hand hygiene) practices use disinfectants… as proposed by the World Health Organization.

– Japanese Researchers (Source: Reuters News)

According to another recent study, nose swapping for antigen test was found more reliable than the samples taken from the throat or cheeks.

Nasal swabbing “detected over 95% of persons with the highest levels of virus who are most likely contagious. .. Throat swabs detected nearly 40% fewer cases than nose swabs.

– Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco and research lead (source: Reuters News)

“These data support using BinaxNOW from nasal swabs as directed on the package. Repeat rapid testing is recommended for those with negative BinaxNOW rapid tests and symptoms or an exposure to an infected person,” Dr. Havlir told Reuters News.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Jan 28, 9 a.m.) 664,844,185 doses have been distributed and 537,238,853 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Jan 26) a total of 9,171,171 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Jan 28) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,309,665 (out of 17,860,571 tested) with 11,382 deaths.