Coronavirus RNA Survived on Cruise Ship for 17 Days After Passengers Got Off

Just don't touch anything for the foreseeable future.


Image via Getty/Kazuhiro Nogi

The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship docks in Japan

On Monday, the CDC released a study that, among other things, showed the coronavirus RNA aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship survived for 17 days after passengers were finally allowed to get off that damn thing. So, I guess just don't touch anything for the foreseeable future. 

The study examined two ships, one that was docked in Japan, and the other that was docked in Oakland. Both of those ships (well, really their passengers and crew) had to put up with quarantines because people onboard each of them had tested positive for COVID-19. 

As stated above, the RNA of the virus was found on multiple surfaces for up to two-and-a-half weeks after the ship was left vacant. In case you're wondering, this residue was on the ship prior to the ships being disinfected. But it would seem that one of the main points is that not nearly every surface on the planet has been sterilized. 

The CDC said researchers were unable to learn whether or not virus transmission was spread by the ship's contaminated surfaces. The study also came to the conclusion that most transmissions on the ship occurred from passengers prior to quarantine. As for crew members, they were infected during and post-quarantine. 

Prior to the virus invading the borders of pretty much every country on earth, the Diamond Princess ship, which docked in Japan, was the most contaminated site outside China. 621 people onboard tested positive, and two people (both of whom were over 80) died from the virus.  

As for the ship that docked in Oakland, the Grand Princess, 21 people who were onboard tested positive for the virus. Of those 21, just two were passengers and the other 19 were members of the crew. 

Furthermore, 2,400 passengers were massively inconvenienced as they had to stay on the ship for 14-days due to a mandatory quarantine. 

PEOPLEreports that another study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine learned that the virus can live for two-to-three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces. 

The virus can also live for three hours in the air, four hours on copper, and a whole day on cardboard. 

This is to say that, like the flu, you can catch it from touching contaminated objects or by walking through it in the air. 

In order to combat this, the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water (you've got it, you've done it before) for 20 seconds or more. For a second option you can use hand sanitizer that, ideally, will have 60 percent or higher alcohol content. And you can also turn on water and pretend to do it in a public bathroom because you think other people are watching and judging you.

Also, try and avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or any other part of your face if your hands haven't been washed recently. 

And if you do all that and you still get it, well, you did the best you could. 

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