[Dothan Eagle] Answer Man: Am I at risk for coronavirus from things shipped from China?
Q: Am I at risk for coronavirus from packages or products shipped from China?
A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, says currently there is no evidence to support transmission of the coronavirus associated with imported goods.
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets, according to information on the agency's website.
"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," according to the website.
The information, found in a question-and-answer section, indicates there is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged 2019 novel coronavirus (referred to as "2019-nCoV") and how it spreads.
"Two other coronaviruses have emerged previously to cause severe illness in people (MERS and SARS)," according to the website. "2019-nCoV is more genetically related to SARS than MERS, but both are betacoronaviruses with their origins in bats."
The CDC also doesn't have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading 2019-nCoV in the United States.
"This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available," according to the website.
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