TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona scientist Doctor Charles Gerba's research on germs and how to fight them is so well known he's sometimes called Doctor Germ.
He says what we know about other coronaviruses says they can live up to nine days on the things we touch.
Gerba says these viruses thrive in cool, dry climates. Arizona fits part of that---it's dry.
He says, “Well, my hope it won't be as bad as like in other places in the US where they have the really cool dry weather all the time. I'm hoping the higher temperatures discourage the survival of this virus on surfaces.
Doctor Gerba says try to sanitize anything the virus may land on. In a gym, for example, use the wipes most gyms provide.
At least 60 percent alcohol's the most reliable coronavirus killer but with people cleaning out the stores you might have trouble finding alcohol products. He says washing the surfaces with plain soap and water can pick up and move the germs. Toss out the rags or wash 45 minutes in very hot water.
But one touch can contaminate things all over again. Doctor Germ is working on a long term solution----disinfectants that last for days.
He says in hospital tests they cut antibiotic resistant germs 30 to 50 percent and they could fight germ zones in places like buses and planes.
Doctor Gerba says, ‘Yeah, anytime you're in public transportation, you have the touch and the breathing issue. Studies in England have shown that your risk of getting a respiratory infection is about sixfold greater if you take a bus rather than if you walk to work or drive a car.”
Handwashing is your best defense against the virus. Doctor Gerba says, his research shows if people wash their hands at all they might go for eleven seconds not the recommended 20 and there's a good chance they do not use soap.
Back to that 20 second rule almost every automatic faucet we found stops well before your 20 seconds. So don't use these to judge your time. Keep turning them on until you're done.