A Chinese center: frozen food packages contaminated with Corona may transmit infection

China’s Disease Control Authority said today, Saturday, that contact with frozen food packages contaminated with the emerging coronavirus may cause disease.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated on its website that this conclusion came when it detected live corona virus on the outer packages of frozen cod and isolated it, during efforts to track the virus in an outbreak that was reported last week in Qingdao.

He added that this conclusion, which is the first of its kind in the world, indicates the possibility that the virus could be transmitted over long distances through frozen goods.

Last week, the authorities said that two dockers in Qingdao were initially diagnosed with no symptoms last September, and transmitted the virus to the chest hospital during quarantine due to insufficient disinfection and protection, which resulted in the infection of 12 others associated with the hospital.

But Jin Dong Yan, a professor of virology at Hong Kong University, said that the CDC's recent statement does not show strong evidence that workers in Qingdao contracted the virus directly from the package, as they may have picked up the virus from elsewhere and then contaminated food packages they handled.

The center said that no case of HIV infection was detected among any of the consumers through contact with frozen foods, and that the risk of this happening is very low.