Coronavirus RNA found on cruise ship 17 days after passengers abandoned liner
Coronavirus RNA has been determined to have the ability to live for up to 17 days among surfaces after health authorities studies the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The disease can survive longer than research has previously shown, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown to us on Monday in new data.
The study sought out to show how the Japanese and U.S government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreaks on the Carnival-owned Diamond Princess ship in Japan and the Grand Princess ship in California has been.
RNA is the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19, and was “identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted,” the researchers wrote.
The CDC added the genetic material of the virus that specifically causes COVID-19 revealed that there was no indication that the virus can “spread by surface”.
They also added researchers were unable to “determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces,” and that more studies focussing on whether COVID-19 can be spread through touching surfaces on cruise ships was warranted.
“COVID-19 on cruise ships poses a risk for rapid spread of disease, causing outbreaks in a vulnerable population, and aggressive efforts are required to contain spread,” the data report read.
The CDC has urged people to stay away from cruise ships at this time if they are part of the more vulnerable population.
Researchers at the national Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University previously found that COVID-19 can last up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
The study also determined the RNA of the virus decreases over time on plastic and stainless steel.
The new study set out to understand just how “transmission occurred across multiple voyages of several ships.” It noted at least 25 cruise ship voyages had confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 17.
All of these cases where either detected during or after the cruise trip ended.
Almost half, 46.5%, of the infections aboard the Diamond Princess were asymptomatic when they were tested.
The study revealed it partially explaining the “high attack rate” of the virus among passengers and crew.
On February 4, all 3,700 passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess were quarantined at a Japanese port after a passenger had been diagnoses with COVID-19 after returning to Hong Kong.
What resulted was the largest cluster of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China at the time, with more than 800 passengers and crew eventually going on to become infected.
Nine people died due to the outbreak after disembarking the ship. Research revealed that 712 of 3,711 people on the Diamond Princess, or 19.2% were infected by COVID-19.
78 cases were also found on the Grand Princess, which was force to moor off the coast of California after two passengers tested positive when they disembarked the vessel.
The 78 cases tied back to the ship across separate voyages. California officials allowed the ship to remove all passengers from the vessel at the Port of Oakland.
The Diamond Princess and Grand Princess has accounted for more than 800 total COVID-19 cases, including 10 deaths.
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