The Grapevine

Can Online Shopping Give You Coronavirus?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people wash their hands regularly and properly. This is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting the contagious 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Your hands go to countless places every day. From the cab’s door handle, to multiple doors on your way to work and to the ATM to get money, people touch many surfaces.

Amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the world, health experts want people to practice good hygiene when in public places to block the virus that may come from contaminated items or surfaces. But some people fear that the 2019-nCoV can get to their houses by riding packages. 

“Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus.,” WHO said on its website. “If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.”

To avoid the 2019-nCoV, some people stopped buying items online, especially those that come from China. The new strain of coronavirus first appeared in the city of Wuhan.

Chinese authorities sealed off the city to help slow down the spread of the virus. However, items from Wuhan continued to be delivered to other countries through online sellers. 

The spread of the 2019-nCoV sparked global concern, which led to a significant increase in the number of face masks ordered online in the past weeks. In the U.S. and other affected countries, government health officials have been reporting a potential shortage of surgical masks for hospitals and clinics since majority of the items go to households.

But many surgical masks come from China, with some even delivered from Wuhan. Many people raised concern on social media about the potential risk of contracting the coronavirus from the masks and other packages that might come from the country. 

However, experts said there is very little risk of getting infected when you receive a product from China. The 2019-nCoV and other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, have poor survivability on surfaces

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on its website

“Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods,” the agency added. 

The WHO also noted tests showed coronaviruses “do not survive long on objects.” Some experts said exposure to UV rays and heat would kill the virus. 
online shopping The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that coronaviruses have poor survivability on surfaces and there is very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Pixabay

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