Contaminated frozen food packaging can transmit the infection


China’s disease control authority said on Saturday that contact with packages of frozen food contaminated by the new live coronavirus could cause infection, news reported to Reuters.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came to that conclusion when, during efforts to track the virus in an outbreak last week in the city of Qingdao, it detected and isolated live coronavirus on the outside of a cod package frozen.

The discovery, unprecedented in the world, suggests that it is possible that the virus is transmitted over long distances through frozen products, the agency said.

Two dockers in Qingdao, initially diagnosed with asymptomatic infections in September, took the virus to the hospital during the quarantine due to insufficient disinfection and protection, leading to another 12 infections in the hospital, officials said last week.

However, the CDC has no solid evidence that the two workers in Qingdao contracted the virus directly from the packaging, rather than contracting the virus elsewhere and then contaminating the food packaging they handled, he stressed. Jin Dong-Yan, a virology expert professor at the University of Hong Kong.

The CDC warns, therefore, that this is a possibility but that no evidence has been found of any consumer having contracted the virus from contact with frozen foods and that the risk of this happening remains very low.


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