- According to a new study from China, the novel coronovirus can survive on cold salmon for up to eight days.
- The research follows recent coronavirus outbreaks in China and New Zealand that were associated with food packaging.
- Scientists point out that the virus can survive on fish skin at temperatures below 39 degrees Fahrenheit to travel between countries.
When COVID-19 entered Beijing several weeks after the last confirmed case of a novel coronovirus infection, officials believed the virus may have come with salmon. The test showed traces of the virus in a market in the Chinese capital, and authorities halted the sale of salmon in the city, preventing commercial agreements with fish-supplying countries. After the initial scuffle, it was clear that the fish were not spreading the virus. Food is not a means of transmission of COVID-19. But we have also known for months that viruses can survive on some surfaces for days and remain in the air for hours.
A few weeks after that, authorities in New Zealand and China found evidence of coronavirus again traveling through food packaging. This prompted the World Health Organization to clarify one more time that transmission through food is not possible. This brings us to the most recent development on this matter, a China study that indicates that the virus can survive on cold salmon for eight days.
The South China Agricultural University and Guangzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Guangzhou published their findings online in a non-peer-reviewed form, the report The mountain. They discovered that the virus could survive for eight days at 4 ° C (39 ° F), which is the transport temperature for salmon.
“SARS-CoV-2-contaminated fish from one country can be easily transported to another country within a week,” the researchers said. Unlike other foods, fish should be transported at lower temperatures, the study reported. “The fish is usually sold in quarters, with temperatures far below regular room temperature. This means that the skin of the fish and the virus sold in fish or seafood markets can survive for a long time. ”
The virus does not infect the actual fish, and there is no risk of consuming them. But if the virus is present on their surface, and it is still contagious, there may be a risk of theoretical transmission of COVID-19. The virus spreads mainly through droplets, WHO says, with aerosols and phomites transmission also accepted as a way of transmission. Several studies have shown that aerosol transmission may play a much more important role in the spread of viruses that the authorities desire to accept, including WHO.
Even before COVID-19 reaches epidemic levels, health officials have instructed the population to wash their hands to stop the spread of novel coronaviruses. He has advised the public to avoid touching the face, especially the eyes, mouth and nose, to reduce the risk of infection.
Although the study has not been reviewed, and it is still unclear whether viruses from packaging support the recent spread of viruses in China or New Zealand, the findings are still important. Health officials may consider additional precautions to prevent workers handling potentially contaminating salmon and other fish during processing.
Chinese officials have been investigating imported meat, packaging and containers since June. Bloomberg telling. According to China’s Customs Agency, six out of more than 500,000 samples turned positive for the virus. In addition, China stopped imports from 56 companies from 19 countries after employees were infected with the virus.