China Has A Theory About Its New COVID-19 Cases

China Has A Theory About Its New COVID-19 Cases

China now reports few to none domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases — only 12 cases were reported on Dec. 15.To get more news about shanghai coronavirus cases, you can visit shine news official website.

But a flurry of recent cases has Chinese public health officials worried. They claim that the cases stemmed from workers who had contact with imported food and packages.Beijing has now banned nearly 100 suppliers from 20 countries and at one point recommended travel restrictions in at least two cities where frozen food handlers contracted the coronavirus.

There's a problem with this theory. The cases directly contradict international health guidance, which says such transmission is highly unlikely. Emanuel Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers University's New Jersey Medical School, wrote in the Lancet this summer that "the chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small," adding that objects not "in contact with an infected carrier for many hours do not pose a measurable risk of transmission in non-hospital settings." Since then, Goldman told NPR that more research has come out to corroborate his claim.

What is going on? Here's what we know about the subject of transmission via fomites — objects contaminated with viral particles.Why so unlikely? First, you'd have to touch a freshly contaminated surface, Goldman explains. Like a doorknob. Or food packaging.

Then, "you have to touch your face" without having washed your hands. And specifically, the mouth, nostrils or eyes — the entry points for the virus.

The World Health Organization uses the phrase "highly unlikely" to describe the chances of contamination from food packaging — but with an abundance of caution urges that the food industry "reinforce personal hygiene measures" for employees.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said there is a "very low risk" of infection from frozen foods.

But it doesn't agree 100%. China's CDC claims that it has identified one case in which live viruses were carried into China via the cold surfaces of imported items and later infected workers. The organization warned workers handling foods stored in refrigerated conditions that they are at "a relatively high risk" of getting the coronavirus and should increase their efforts to protect themselves.China has reported at least four clusters of cases since this summer that it attributes to virus-contaminated objects that have traveled from virus-stricken countries and regions.

In November, Shanghai health authorities stated that seven cases were linked to the city's Pudong International Airport. They claim that the source is a shipping container from North America, which two of the seven patients entered to clean without masks. The other five infected individuals include those who also worked in the airport freight section as well as their spouses.

The port city of Tianjin also identified two new COVID-19 patients earlier that same month. A Tianjin CDC official, Zhang Ying, said both individuals, a warehouse loader and a truck driver, had been in physical contact with a shipment of hog heads from North America. According to CCTV footage, officials said the truck driver, not wearing any personal protective equipment, picked up a hog head when it fell out of the warehouse.

The frozen meat and its package have yet to be tested to this day, but Zhang said samples taken from the spot where the pig head fell on the ground came back positive for the coronavirus. There was also a genetic match to the samples taken from the two patients.