Getting Coronavirus From This Common Thing Is "Unlikely," Doctors Say
A new study from South Korea reveals what you should be worrying less about.
You've probably been ordering a lot more of your necessities online than ever before—which means one thing: more packages at your front door. Amid coronavirus, those cardboard boxes of goods have been a concern. After all, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that COVID-19 can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. But if you've been worried about contracting the coronavirus from package deliveries, get ready to breathe a sigh of relief. Research from South Korea is suggesting that getting COVID-19 from packages is, in fact, unlikely, Reuters reports.
The issue came up when an outbreak of coronavirus hit a delivery warehouse outside of Seoul for online retail giant Coupang. Nearly 120 cases of COVID-19 were linked to the logistics center that manages, traffics, and eventually ships packages to online customers. Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked into the outbreak to find out if the handling of packages was responsible for COVID-19 transmission. And the results were good news for anyone who's been fearful of touching their latest delivery from Amazon. Simply put, as Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip revealed in a briefing, "There has been no precedent of a global transmission so far from delivered packages."
These findings are consistent with a recent advisory from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which made clear that the biggest risk of transmission is not from the touching of common materials, but instead from the possible inhalation of aerosolized droplets expelled by others nearby.
"I don't think we need to get completely obsessed about packages that come in," Anthony Fauci, MD, the head of National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said in March. "But people say, 'Should I get a package from a grocery store that says "Made in China"?' I wouldn't worry about that. That's not the issue."
Yes, one can technically contract the coronavirus by touching something that's contaminated—like a package—but the point is, the risk is significantly lower than person-to-person contact. And for more on where you should avoid amid coronavirus, here are The 7 Most Dangerous Spots You Can Catch Coronavirus.