How long can coronavirus live on surfaces like money, clothing, pets?

How long can coronavirus live on surfaces such as money or clothing and what's the best way to protect yourself? A new international study is answering some questions.

A research letter in Journal of the American Medical Association details three patients overseas, all with positive COVID-19 tests, and all with symptoms.

Before cleaning the rooms, the virus was detected on more than 80 percent of surfaces. After disinfecting, samples came back negative.

Dr. Jonathan Stallkamp at Main Line Health says this underscores the importance of practicing good health hygiene and awareness of coronavirus may actually help prevent more flu cases this year.

RELATED: Can you catch the coronavirus from cash?
EMBED More News Videos

Can you catch the coronavirus from handling cash? Experts weigh in.



Things like good hand washing and disinfecting common surfaces is vital.

The EPA has a list of effective cleaners. The label tells you how long it takes to kill viruses.

As for how long the virus can live on surfaces before cleaning...

"Something such as a metal surface, it's not really great for a virus to survive, so that will go away quickly," said Dr. Stallkamp.

But he says with something more porous such as dollar bills or clothing, viruses can last longer - even several hours.

The company Rent the Runway is sending a letter to customers, saying clothing is thoroughly cleaned, steamed and pressed in high heat.

"Dry cleaning should definitely help, anytime temperature is elevated on surfaces that also helps to kill the virus," said Dr. Stallkamp.

And what about our four-legged friends?

If someone has the virus and pets your dog or cat, then your pet's fur acts like any other soft surface. But they have to be around someone shedding the virus.

So as always, the more you can wash your hands, the better you can protect yourself.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.