“Can COVID live on sports equipment? “


Soccer practice is over and you toss the kids’ ball in your SUV when a thought strikes you: Could the virus that causes COVID-19 live on sports equipment like soccer ball, shin guards , shoes and other items?

Yes it could. Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 can live on all kinds of surfaces, including sports equipment, for hours or even days.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are likely contract COVID-19 by handling infected sports equipment.

While studies have shown that you can transfer an infectious virus by touching a contaminated object and then rubbing your eyes or touching your nose, most experts agree that you are much more likely to catch COVID-19 by inhaling infectious airborne particles or droplets (which is why you have to socially distance yourself and wear a mask in public) than surface transfer. (But let me be clear: you should still wash your hands frequently).

If you’ve seen reports of studies that have found that SARS-CoV-2 can survive on various surfaces for hours, or even days, it’s important to note that many of these experiences do not reflect the conditions in the world. real. Using the flu as an example (because research apparently doesn’t yet exist for SARS-CoV-2), a person can cough up a drop of mucus containing between 10 and 100 infectious viral particles which then land on, say, a doorknob and could be picked up by the next person to touch that button.

But in the SARS-CoV-2 experiments, researchers often placed viral samples containing something like 10 million virus particles on a surface, then measured how long the virus survived. It is simply unlikely that 10 million infectious particles of SARS-CoV-2 could reasonably accumulate on an everyday surface or on a soccer ball – or any other sports equipment, frankly. In normal, daily amounts, this virus can dry out and die off surfaces much faster than experiences suggest, which means you’re less likely to get infected this way.

So basically yes it is possible to catch COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface like a soccer ball, but it is not likely. That said, you should always clean and, if possible, disinfect your sports equipment after each use, and you should wash your hands thoroughly after touching the equipment.

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