A search following a recent news item led me to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for 23 March 2020 which says in part:
SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of
surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic
infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated
on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures
had been conducted (Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of
Infectious Diseases, personal communication, 2020). Although
these data cannot be used to determine whether transmission
occurred from contaminated surfaces, further study of fomite
transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard cruise ships is warranted.
Identifying bits of RNA does not imply a surface is infectious and that’s not what I am asking about here.
This reminded me of answer(s) to Was 14,000+ year old DNA “laying around in cave dirt” protected from degradation, or is it just naturally this robust? which explain that small fragments of DNA can be quite stable in some environments; in some places on Earth the DNA in the soil can be ten thousand years old.
Question: Roughly speaking how stable are short sections of single-stranded RNA in exposed environments compared to double-stranded DNA?
The answer is likely to contain “It depends on…” as did the answer to the DNA stability question, I’m primarily interested in the differential stability between the two.