How long do germs live on surfaces?

Answer

Some viruses, like cold and flu, can live on external surfaces for up to a week. The length of time microbes live outside the body depends on the environment and the characteristics of the microbe itself.

Some germs, such as bacteria, can reproduce and colonize on surfaces around the house. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is an example of a germ that thrives at room temperature. Some germs, such as staphylococcus aureus, can survive for several weeks because they do not require much moisture. While most germs do die, there are some that can lie dormant for months or even years until the right exposure to humidity, air temperature and food allows them to reactivate.

Explore this Topic
The length of time a germ can last on surfaces depends on the surface. They can last anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours. Germs last longer on harder surfaces ...
There is mixed data on how long salmonella can live on surfaces. One study concluded that it could leave on a dry surface any where from seven to fourteen weeks. ...
HIV does not live for long enough on surfaces to infect anyone, according to AIDS Vancouver Island, a community-based AIDS service organization. HIV dies fairly ...
About -  Privacy -  Careers -  Ask Blog -  Mobile -  Help -  Feedback  -  Sitemap  © 2014 Ask.com