How long do bacteria and viruses live outside the body? Cold viruses,
viruses can sometimes survive on indoor surfaces for more than seven days. viruses survive for longer on non-porous (water resistant surfaces, such as stainless steel and plastics.
than porous surfaces, such as fabrics and tissues. their ability to cause an infection reduces rapidly and they don’t often survive longer than 24 hours. Most viruses which cause colds only survive on hands for a short amount of time. Some only last for a few minutes but 40% of rhinoviruses, a common cold-causing virus, are still infectious on hands after one hour.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), another cold-like virus that can cause serious illness in children, can survive on worktops and door handles for up to six hours, on clothing, and tissues for 30-45 minutesand on skin for up to 20 minutes.