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Relax, You’re Not Getting the Coronavirus from Chinese Packages

A computer illustration of the coronavirus.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC

It’s a topic that’s causing enough anxiety. We don’t even have the heart to lead with a question, so we’ll get right to the point: it’s always possible you might get the coronavirus, but you’re not getting it from a package shipped from China.

If you thought about it amidst all the coronavirus news, hey, we don’t blame you one bit. The idea of a global flu pandemic is unnerving, and immediately thinking about whether or not all those knock-off Amiibos you ordered off Alibaba are going to kill you is a perfectly valid concern.

Over at Tom’s Hardware, they wanted to know if a package shipped from China could infect you with the coronavirus, too, and they did the leg work to find out. Here’s what Dr. Amesh A. Adalja from the John Hopkins Center for Health Security had to say about it:

“I suspect that even with overnight shipping, the transit conditions are not conducive to the virus remaining viable, given that it takes a special combination of environmental conditions for a virus to remain viable (lack of UV exposure, specific temperatures, specific humidity, et cetera) that is not readily achieved in shipping,” Adalja explained. “Overnight packages are not how this virus will transmit, and I think the concern is completely misplaced.”

Dr. Adalja isn’t worried about Chinese packages (and for the record, the CDC isn’t either), so rest easy knowing whatever loot you’ve been ordering from China isn’t going to arrive with both an international postmark and a complimentary trip to the hospital.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »
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