October 18, 2018

New Research Finds That Copper Kills Norovirus

New research presented last week at the American Society for Microbiology’s 2013 general meeting showed that copper can destroy norovirus. The research was conducted at the University of Southampton. That virus causes more than 20 million illnesses in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and norovirus causes 267 million infections worldwide every year.

NorovirusNorovirus is extremely contagious and often affects people in contained situations, such as cruise ships and retirement homes. It is spread through person-to-person contact, contact with contaminated objects, and through food and drink.

Scientists discovered that norovirus is quickly destroyed on contact with copper. The researchers think that copper alloy surfaces can be used in high risk areas. Door handles, sinks, and water taps could be coated with copper, breaking the cycle of infection.  Norovirus can remain alive and active on solid surfaces for hours and it is difficult to kill with cleaning solutions. Copper can also kill influenza viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

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