How do bacteria and viruses survive on hard surfaces?

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How do bacteria and viruses survive on hard surfaces?

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

First – bacteria are living things, they need energy inputs and outputs to survive, simply put they need things like food and air. Viruses aren’t typically considered to be alive because, at a minimum, they don’t require food or energy to exist. They are more like traps waiting to be sprung – they can sit there maybe forever until something touches them and activates them.

But for both, they are delicate things that can be injured – a trap might not be alive, but it can be *deactivated*, which is the term we use for “killing” viruses.

Both are so small the surface doesn’t matter very much but the conditions do. Things like heat, acidity, or chemical reactions can kill them.

In the case of the surface, some materials – metals specifically – can create electricity based chemical reactions that can destroy the molecules the bacteria/viruses are made of. This is why things like copper and silver are buzz-wordy when it comes to sanitary surfaces.

Otherwise, just putting a bacteria on a hard surface is like putter a dog in the woods vs field. Can they survive, sure, neither location is particularly deadly, but it’s the circumstances that are important – is it hot? are there chemicals around? Is there radiation? Etc.

Does that help your question?

Anonymous 0 Comments

First of all, not all of them do. In fact, most of them don’t. As they dry up, the proteins eventually denature due to exposure to background levels of stuff like ozone and UV light. To add to this, bacteria are living organisms and need a food source to survive. Without a food source on a surface, they will eventually die.

However, some bacteria and viruses can form a hardened spore that doesn’t require ongoing food intake and is more protected against stuff like ozone and UV light