During a global pandemic your home is supposed to be a sanctuary from the scary outside world. But a new study will make you look at everything differently. According to a new study published by the American Society for Microbiology, the pillows and bed sheets on your bed can be a hotbed for COVID-19 virus particles if you or a family member has it.
Researchers looked at samples from the hospital rooms of coronavirus patients in Chengdu, China, and found that 40% of the surfaces tested positive for COVID-19. The most contaminated areas in the patients’ rooms were bed rails, pillows and bedsheets at 54%, 50%, and 50%. Even more disturbing was that these were hospital rooms that had been cleaned and disinfected. Most people’s bedrooms are nowhere near as clean as a hospital room.
Though no one in your family may appear sick do be aware of another recent study that found that asymptomatic patients can very much spread the disease. The study looked at four surfaces—bedrail, pillow, bedsheet, and air exhaust outlet—in an asymptomatic patient’s room and found that they put those in close contact with them at major risk. The study was published in the journal mSphere.
Charles Bangham, Professor of Immunology at the U.K.’s Imperial College London, told Newsweek this “is a salutary reminder that the contamination is widespread and that the outflow air from the negative pressure room may also be contaminated.” He continued, “The most important of these are to minimize contact with other people, especially the vulnerable; to wear a proper face covering when in proximity to others, and to wash hands thoroughly after known or potential contact with a contaminated object.”