ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The Ebola virus may live on hospital surfaces for up to two weeks, a new study finds.
Researchers tested how long Ebola could last on plastic, stainless steel, and the material used in Ebola suits.READ MORE: Wanted For Homicide, Florida Man Leads Deputies On Chase, Breaks Into Home Before Placed Under Arrest
The researchers also simulated different conditions, such as a 70-degrees Fahrenheit hospital and a typical day in West Africa.
The study found that Ebola survived longer in the simulated hospital room than in the West Africa environment. The virus lived for 11 days on the Ebola suit, eight days on plastic, and four days on stainless steel. The virus only survived for three days in the simulated West Africa environment.
“Given the unprecedented number of health care professionals who became infected with Ebola virus during the outbreak, we are trying to elucidate all potential routes of transmission and potential for persistence for the virus,” Vincent Munster, chief of the Virus Ecology Unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, and a researcher on this study, told LiveScience.READ MORE: Florida Man With STD Arrested For Sexually Battering A 76-Year-Old Woman
“We found that the Ebola virus can persist on surfaces in hospitals, so it’s very important that workers follow protocols for thoroughly disinfecting and removing protective gear when leaving an Ebola treatment unit,” the researchers wrote in their study.
Researchers needed to determine whether it was the temperature, humidity, or a combination of both that is causing the virus to degrade quicker.
The study also found that Ebola can survive in water for up to six days, in dried blood for up to five, and liquid blood for up to two weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define Ebola as a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species.MORE NEWS: Florida Man, Family Torches His Impounded Vehicle To Destroy Evidence
The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.