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Risks of coronavirus infection from packages are extremely low

We have researched the risks of the online shops activities and appropriate treatment with the delivered parcels. The health-care experts say that there are extremely low dangers of coronavirus infection by transfering a parcel, even though the virus can survive for several days on the surface.

Source: Business InsiderJournal of Hospital InfectionWHO - Questions and AnswersWHO - Advices

Summary:

  • The risk of contracting coronavirus from a package is low, even though the virus can live on some surfaces for days, according to health officials.

  • Coronaviruses are most often spread by respiratory droplets, which are transmitted through sneezing and coughing.

  • "If we had transmission via packages we would have seen immediate global spread out of China early in the outbreak", Elizabeth McGraw, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, told Business Insider. "We know that viruses are likely to only live a few hours to a few days under the sort of conditions we expose packages to, including shifts in temperature and humidity", McGraw said.

You might be wondering if shopping online is any safer than going to a store? Can a package carry the virus?

The lifespan of the novel virus on any surface is "likely hours to a day or so", Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, recently told Business Insider's Aylin Woodward.

So it's possible that the virus could lurk on a box.

But the risks of transmission from a package is likely very low, according to health experts and agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

"If we had transmission via packages we would have seen immediate global spread out of China early in the outbreak", Elizabeth McGraw, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, told Business Insider. "We know that viruses are likely to only live a few hours to a few days under the sort of conditions we expose packages to, including shifts in temperature and humidity", McGraw said.

The Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization back this up.

"Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets," which are transmitted by sneezing and coughing, the CDC said.

The World Health Organization has issued similar guidance, saying: "The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low."

To be extra safe, consumers can , clean packages with solutions containing 62% to 71% ethanol alcohol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide ili 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. Human coronaviruses could be efficiently inactivated on surfaces within one minute using these solutions, according to a recent study.

Recommodations how to treat the package which you think might be infected:

  • Avoid to collect payment for your shipment at the time of delivery, pay for your shipment in advance.

  • If the package is delivered to your home address, don't take it into the house / flat, but when you receive it outdoors, spray the package before opening with disinfectant / alcohol solution (before and after opening, disinfect your hands and wear protective gloves) - dump the disinfected packaging into a waste bin.

  • If take possession of package elsewhere, be careful, which surface you touch, and avoid to move in groups of people.

We all should take care of ourselves and be interested in health of other people. Regardless of extremely low risk of coronavirus infection through packages, be responsible to yourself and others.

Alive and kicking, your Optimist team.