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Frozen food packages contaminated by live coronavirus could cause infection, says China’s CDC

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BEIJING: China’s disease control authority said on Saturday that contact with frozen food containers contaminated by a new live coronavirus could cause an infection.
The conclusion came when the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected and isolated live coronavirus in the outer packaging of frozen cod during efforts to trace the virus in an outbreak reported last week in Qingdao city. the agency said on its website.
The finding, a world first, suggests the virus may be transmitted long distances through frozen products, he said.
Two dock workers in Qingdao who were initially diagnosed as asymptomatic infections in September carried the virus to a chest hospital during quarantine due to insufficient disinfection and protection, leading to another 12 hospital-related infections, authorities said last week. .
However, the latest CDC statement does not show strong evidence that the two workers in Qingdao contracted the virus directly from the packaging, rather than contracting the virus from elsewhere and then contaminating the food packaging they were handling, Jin Dong said. Yan, a virologist. professor at the University of Hong Kong.
The CDC said no case had been found of any consumer contracting the virus from contact with frozen food and the risk of this happening remained very low.
However, it recommended that workers who handle, process and sell frozen products should avoid direct skin contact with products that could possibly be contaminated.
Staff should not touch their mouth or nose before removing potentially contaminated work clothing without washing their hands and should be tested regularly, the agency said.
Before the latest CDC findings, genetic traces of the virus had been found in some samples taken from frozen food or food packaging, but the amount of virus was low and no live virus was isolated, the agency said.
Only live viruses can infect people, while samples containing dead viruses can also test positive for traces of the virus, Jin said.

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