A new study suggests that some genetic material of the coronavirus can survive in the house, where Covid patients are isolated for up to a month.
The study was published in the journal mSystems, but the study fails to evaluate if this persisting virus can transfer the infection to humans. But this information gives way for sanitation measures to be taken in micro-containment zones and hospitals.
The researchers of the study worked with workers responsible for cleaning rooms of the university students who had tested positive and were isolated in the uni rooms.
For the research, they also collected samples from two homes where people were isolated after testing positive for the virus.
After studying the samples, the team found RNA — part of the genetic material inside a virus — in 97 per cent of the bulk dust samples. Additionally, 55 per cent of the RNA was found in the surface swabs.
For understanding the longevity of the virus, the samples were tested weekly, and it was found that the RNA did not decompose in the vacuum bags.
"We weren't sure that the genetic material would survive - there are many different organisms in dust, and we weren't sure we'd see any viral RNA at all," said lead author Nicole Renninger, an engineering graduate at the varsity.
"And we were surprised when we found that the actual RNA itself seems to be lasting a pretty long time," Renninger said.
Municipalities and others have tried wastewater to assess the pervasiveness of Coronavirus in a given local area. As quality duplicates and parts of the infection live in human waste, testing wastewater can decide how broad the infection may be regardless of whether individuals are asymptomatic.
Dust monitoring could offer a similar understanding on a smaller scale -- say, a specific nursing home, hospital or school, Renninger said.
Following the results of the study, it becomes clear that deep cleaning of the house after people have suffered and isolated for Covid-19 is important. This will help avoid reinfection of the virus.