Researchers have submitted data for peer review reflecting a 70% increase in the surface survival of the Omicron variant on plastic vs. the previous Delta variant. On the skin, Omicron demonstrated a 25% increase over Delta.
This is significant in that the longer a pathogen can survive on a surface, or our skin, the more opportunity it has to infect us.
It is also significant because it reflects the fact that mutations, new variants, can change the game on the survivability of an organism. The morphing of a contagion can change the rate at which it will be spread, along with its severity. While we do know that coronavirus species are primarily spread via airborne routes – we simply do not know to what degree changes in environmental survivability, secondary aerosolization, and self inoculation contribute to infection rates around the globe.
This type of research is of course critical to preventive infrastructure design – and the ability for technology like UVC and others to be prepared for unpredictable changes in a pathogens characteristics.