Pictures of people clad in white protective gear, looking like SciFy and sparying streets, offices, factories and people have emerged in the media.

What are they spraying and is there any evidence it will help stop or slow the spread of the disease?

Making such large quantities of disinfectant must be costly, still the practice seems wide-spread especially in Asia. So there must be some assumed benefit, but is there any real evidence it helps?


I don't know but they're likely spraying bleach to kill virus on surfaces. Studies show the virus can persist for days on stainless steel etc, but we don't have good data how much of any of this can cause further infection.

It does help to impress on the public the need to keep washing which is the most effective way to be safe apart from complete isolation.


  • I had considered that too: to remind people it's serious (where i live people still go shopping for fun and leisure) and their government is on it. However, in China i'm sure they already know that it's serious and the government is on it.
    – Koinc
    Mar 22 '20 at 8:45
  • Here's a source of data on the stability of the virus on surfaces: medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.09.20033217v2 ; note that the authors did study "viability", i.e. if the so-deposited virus can cause infection.
    – P Marecki
    Mar 23 '20 at 2:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.