Human Coronavirus 229E Is Still Infectious on Normal Touching Surface

The evolution of new viruses from animal respiratory tracts and re-emergence of historically virulent strains poses a major threat to human health. The transmission of zoonotic virus strains from person to person is inefficient, and may limit the spread of transmission at the beginning, but it may be infected by contact with contaminated surfaces. Enveloped viruses are usually susceptible to environmental pressures, but the human coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have recently raised concerns about contact transmission during outbreaks. Human Coronavirus 229E (HuCoV-229E) is rapidly inactivated on a series of copper alloys (fingertip contamination can be simulated within a few minutes), and Cu/Zn brass is very effective at lower copper concentrations. Exposure to copper can destroy the viral genome and irreversibly affects the morphology of the virus, including the disintegration of the envelope and the spread of surface spikes. Cu+ and Cu++ are part of the cause of inactivation. The production of active oxygen on the alloy surface will enhance this inactivation, resulting in inactivation even faster than non-enveloped viruses on copper. Therefore, copper alloy surfaces can be used in public areas and any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses from contaminated surfaces and protect public health.