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VERIFY: Can coronavirus be spread by packages shipped from China?

We verify that viral claim about coronavirus.

Every day there’s a new rumor about coronavirus and how you can catch it. 

The virus, officially called 2019-nCov - which stands for 2019 Novel Coronavirus -  is rapidly spreading throughout China from Wuhan, and has shown up in several countries outside China, including the United States. 

There are several things experts still do not know about the virus, which is creating some panic surrounding the illness. 

We dig into one claim that is making the rounds on social media.

QUESTION

Can coronavirus be carried on packages delivered from China?

ANSWER

Likely not. 

EXPLANATION

We relied on the experts at the Centers for Disease Control for the answer to this one. 

In a brief on Monday, Dr. Nancy Messonier, the director of the CDC’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said there was no evidence to support that theory.

“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” Messonnier said.

RELATED: Answering your questions about the Wuhan coronavirus

The virus is spread from person to person when someone else coughs, and the next person inhales those droplets left in the air. And while you may move away when someone sick coughs near you, touching things sick people may have touched is just as crucial. 

The takeaway - wash your hands and sanitize commonly used items as much as you can, especially in public places.

VERIFY: Fact-checking viral coronavirus videos and claims

SOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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