Could packages sent from China carry the coronavirus?

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

While such a scenario was part of a Simpsons episode from 1993, in which “Osaka Flu” traveled from Japan to Springfield after a factory worker coughed into a package, there are genuine fears that something similar could happen with the coronavirus.

While the answer isn’t 100 percent definite, it seems the risk of the virus surviving a long trip from China on the surface of a package is extremely low. There is still a lot about 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that’s unknown, but according to the CDC, a lot of the information comes from previous coronaviruses that cause severe illnesses in people: MERS and SARS.

“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. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. 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,” states the agency’s coronavirus FAQ site.

Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, reaffirmed the CDC’s findings. “The temperature of the air surrounding the packages and projects during shipping is not considered conducive to viral viability,” he told Tom’s Hardware. “Overnight packages are not how this virus will transmit, and I think the concern is completely misplaced.”

It’s not all good news, though. Work published in the Journal of Hospital Infection (via Forbes) states that coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS can live on surfaces for between four and five days, but some could survive for up to nine days outside of the body at room temperature. However, these are sensitive to disinfectants containing alcohol, sodium hydroxide, and sodium hypochlorite, and they can be removed from a surface in 60 seconds. It’s expected that the disinfecting process will have a similar effect on 2019-nCoV.

With the coronavirus causing delayed products (possibly the Xbox Series X and PS5), MWC’s cancelation, and a fall in smartphone shipments, it’s no surprise that people are being very cautious, but refusing to order your PC parts from China is probably a step too far.

Image credits: Drazen Zigic and Robert Wei via Shutterstock

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QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
You have more of a chance getting a dose of radiation from Japan originated packages than Coronavirus from China. It doesn't last outside of the human body very long. Suppossedly: less than 8 hours - which is more than the time it takes to ship a package from China.
 

mgwerner

TS Booster
The purpose of "In a nutshell" should be to give a synopsis, as do abstracts for scholarly papers. Not to restate the thesis, it is redundant. The author should be drawing in readers to get more details, not tricking them into reading more.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
The purpose of "In a nutshell" should be to give a synopsis, as do abstracts for scholarly papers. Not to restate the thesis, it is redundant. The author should be drawing in readers to get more details, not tricking them into reading more.
I suppose that since it does not state "in a nutshell" in the article, anywhere, your comment is moot, or was the article edited?

We need more arm-chair TS editors! Yeah. :eek:
 
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ckm88

TS Guru
Already received from china and read about this problem before I opened the post. Ali Express delivery takes ages until it arrives so even human may not be able to survive sometimes!
It also doesn't help that the USPS handles most of these deliveries once it arrives. Add another month to delivery lol.
 
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The purpose of "In a nutshell" should be to give a synopsis, as do abstracts for scholarly papers. Not to restate the thesis, it is redundant. The author should be drawing in readers to get more details, not tricking them into reading more.

There you have it, the secret awsomesauce of GN, the ridiculous repeating stuttering gymnastics of verbosity redundantly verbalized over time after time until each video is

AN HOUR TOO LONG...

SLAP/BANG/HEADSMASH.STOPIT.INSANITYREPEATI..........................
 
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Freddie159

TS Rookie
I'd have to say the answer is NO or places like Amazon, Walmart and all the others that get ALOT of packages from there have been VERY VERY VERY lucky so far!!!
 
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PurpleYoda

TS Booster
You have more of a chance getting a dose of radiation from Japan originated packages than Coronavirus from China. It doesn't last outside of the human body very long. Suppossedly: less than 8 hours - which is more than the time it takes to ship a package from China.
It’s been said it can last on surfaces like handles, railings or doorknobs up to 9 days...
 

total

TS Rookie
You do understand it can be inside of a parcel if somebody simply sneezes or coughs on that inside surface, don't you?
 

mgwerner

TS Booster
I suppose that since it does not state "in a nutshell" in the article, anywhere, your comment is moot, or was the article edited?

We need more arm-chair TS editors! Yeah. :eek:
Most, if not all, TS articles start with a synopsis: "In context;" or "In a nutshell." This one was edited.

Snarky comments by you do not improve the quality of articles here. Feedback from readers about the quality of writing is supposed to help improve that writing, and thus the visitor count and probably paid membership. But your snarkiness is noted.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Most, if not all, TS articles start with a synopsis: "In context;" or "In a nutshell." This one was edited.

Snarky comments by you do not improve the quality of articles here. Feedback from readers about the quality of writing is supposed to help improve that writing, and thus the visitor count and probably paid membership. But your snarkiness is noted.
Why do low time members such as yourself, always insist on "reading and rewriting over our staff writer's shoulders"?

The trouble with the concept that, " Feedback from readers about the quality of writing is supposed to help improve that writing, and thus the visitor count and probably paid membership.", tacitly states you think you're better than them.

Oh well, since the articles don't meet your discriminating standards,, you could always continue to not pay. Or, ask Julio for a job.

From where I sit, getting involved in a "snark-off" with other members doesn't improve the quality of the discussion. As a matter of fact, it's kind of off topic.

I like it best when the membership chimes in to say the titles are "click bait". Those threads usually get the most posts, from all the whining about them. And as you say, "clicks are money to the site".

As for you "'keeping score" of any minor "snarkiness'" you encounter, who cares? I don't think I'll be getting an attachment full of coal for Christmas in my email over it

Please tell me I've made an entry in your "snark-ulator" for this post. It would please me greatly...:p:rolleyes:
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Riddle du jour: "Why did the British give blankets laced with smallpox to the Indians"?

Answer: (Because they didn't have corona virus to put on them)
 

lazer

TS Addict
Why isn't the virus as cheap and unreliable as everything else from China?
they say that a watch I bought from china lasted 2 weeks, a head set from china lasted 2 weeks, but this virus has lasted a month so far. Guess they have upped their technology....
(joke -)
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Why isn't the virus as cheap and unreliable as everything else from China?
Practically everything you buy in the US these days is made in China. Nothing except for the crap DVD burners Newegg sells, has broken on me recently.

In fact, I bought a 12 string guitar recently, which is damned near a work of art, and yet, made in China.
 

Danny101

TS Evangelist
Practically everything you buy in the US these days is made in China. Nothing except for the crap DVD burners Newegg sells, has broken on me recently.

In fact, I bought a 12 string guitar recently, which is damned near a work of art, and yet, made in China.
The guitar machining has improved dramatically over the past few years. Now if they could just improve the alloys, that would be nice.