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Home / Health / Can You Catch The Coronavirus From Frozen Food? Experts say no.

Can You Catch The Coronavirus From Frozen Food? Experts say no.



Amid widespread concern over reports that frozen chicken wings imported to China from Brazil tested positive for the coronavirus, experts said Thursday that the likelihood of catching the virus from food – especially frozen, packaged food – is extremely high. Low.

“It means someone has been treated with chicken wings that may have had the virus,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University. “But it does not mean, ‘Oh my God, no one buys chicken wings because they are dirty.’

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that “there is no evidence to suggest that food treatment or food consumption is related to Covid-1

9”. The main route that the virus is known to be taken from person to person is through spray from sneezing, coughing, talking or even breathing.

“I have no connection between this and the fear that this is the cause of some remote departure event,” said C. Brandon Ogbunu, a disease ecologist at Yale University. When the virus crosses international borders, it is almost certainly fragmented by humans, rather than the commercial products they transport.

The chicken wings were examined Wednesday in Longgang’s Shenzhen district, where officials have tested imports for the presence of coronavirus, or RNA, genetic material. Some samples taken from the outer packaging of frozen seafood, some of which were shipped from Ecuador, recently tested positive for the RNA virus in China’s Anhui, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well.

Laboratory procedures that require RNA also form the basis of most coronavirus tests performed on humans. But RNA is only a representative for the presence of the virus, which can leave behind pieces of its genetic material even after it has been destroyed, said Dr. Ogbunu. “This is just the signature revelation that the virus has been there at one point,” he said.

To prove that a dangerous, viable virus persists in food or packaging, researchers will need to isolate the microbe and indicate in a laboratory that it can still recur. These experiments are logically challenging and require specially trained personnel and are not part of the typical test pipeline.

After samples taken from the meat surface tested positive, officials conducted similar tests on several people they suspected had come in contact with the product. They also tested a host of other packaged goods. All samples analyzed so far have been negative for coronavirus RNA, according to a statement issued by the Shenzhen Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters.

But the same statement warned consumers about imported frozen products and early reports of this news raised the alarm on social media.

Both Dr. Ogbunu and Dr. Rasmussen said a series of extremely unusual events would have to occur for the virus to be transmitted through a frozen meat product. Depending on the origin of the virus, it will have to endure a potential cross-continental trip in a frozen state – likely thawing and refreshing at least once along the way – then find its way into someone’s bare hands, on the road to the nose or mouth.

Even more unlikely is the scenario that a virus could feed after being heated, survive by being swallowed in the human ultra-acid digestive tract, and then set up shop in the airways.

“The risks of this happening are extremely small,” said Dr. Rasmussen.

Some viruses may be able to make the weather of such a large pilgrimage. But coronavirus is certainly not one of them because it is a so-called enveloping virus, wrapped in a fragile outer shell that is susceptible to all sorts of environmental disturbances, including extreme temperature changes.

Viruses are often frozen in laboratories that store stocks of pathogens for experiments. But virologists must monitor that process carefully so as not to destroy the vulnerable defects.

“The act of freezing and thawing is a kind of violent thermodynamic process,” said Dr. Ogbunu. “A virus, for all its strength and resilience, is a very delicate instrument of infection.”

The CDC has noted that it is “possible” that the coronavirus could spread to contaminated surfaces, including food packaging or food. But it is not known to be among the main ways the virus spreads.

If you do not want to become infected, avoiding direct contact with other people is probably a better use of your time, said Dr. Ogbunu.

“Yes, we must continue to wash our hands and be mindful of surfaces where there are many individuals,” he said. “But it is the closeness to others that can really facilitate transmission.”




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