Stability of SARS-CoV-2 on the Army Combat Uniform and Recommendations for Cleaning


Ibarra C, Bass L, Saler E, Daniels R, Davis N, Washington M 23(2). 70 (Journal Article)

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the disease that is known as COVID-19. While there have been numerous studies detailing the survival rates of SARS-CoV-2 on various materials, there are currently no published data regarding whether this virus is stable on standard military uniforms. Consequently, there are no standard operating procedures for washing uniforms once exposed to the virus. This study aimed to determine whether SARS-CoV-2 could be removed from Army combat uniform material by washing with a commercially available detergent and tap water. Washing the fabric with detergent followed by a rinse step with tap water effectively removes detectable viral particles. Importantly, it was found that washing with hot water alone was not effective. Therefore, it is recommended that military personnel wash their uniforms with detergent and water as soon as possible after exposure to SARS-CoV-2; hot water should not be used as a substitute for detergent.

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