Researchers identified a structural loop in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the area of the coronavirus that facilitates entry into cells, and a sequence of four amino acids in the loop that are different from other known human coronaviruses in this viral lineage. SARS-CoV-2 has some shared properties with the 2003 virus responsible for the SARS outbreak. The loop appears to be important to both the transmission and stability of the virus. The study also found that in addition to humans and primates, cats, ferrets, and minks are also susceptible to COVID-19 infection.
SARS-CoV-2 is detectable in aerosols for up to three hours and up to four hours on copper. On cardboard, the virus is detectable for up to 24 hours, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The study suggests the virus may be acquired through the air in addition to touching surfaces.