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Coronavirus is a respiratory disease transmitted from person to person by airborne droplets. The insidiousness of a new infection is that the virus is capable of infecting in the absence of symptoms of the disease. The absence of high fever, runny nose, cough and other characteristic signs is no longer an indicator that a person is completely healthy.
How many hands do vegetables and fruits pass through before they get on our table, and is there a risk of contamination with a dangerous microbe through the fruits? To answer this question, you need to understand the ways of transmission and the lifespan of the virus on surfaces.
High levels of the virus have been found in the human nasal passages. When you sneeze or cough, the virus enters the surrounding area in droplets of salivary fluid or other secretions. After being in the air for some time, COVID-19 settles on surfaces.
If a person sneezed or coughed in a public place, covering his mouth with his hand, and then grabbing the handrail, viruses in sufficient concentration have already settled on the surface.
Important: The virus exists on metal, glass, plastic, paper and wood for 5 days or more. Low temperatures and high humidity can increase the life of the virus for some time.
Could fruits and vegetables be infected with the virus?
Coronovirus can be found on any surface, including fruits and vegetables, if it has previously been in contact with the carrier. As mentioned above, the infection can be transmitted even in a latent form. And when preparing the fruit for sale, contact with human hands is inevitable. Nonetheless scientists agreed that the contact-household method of transmission of coronavirus is unlikely... In order for the fetus to be infected with the virus, it should be sneezed or licked on. In other cases, the possibility of high concentrations of the virus on the fetus is very unlikely.
How long does COVID-19 live on fruit?
The life span in the absence of a carrier in a coronavirus ranges from several hours to several days. This is a long enough time span for a viral cell. Favorable conditions for the life of a microbe are a temperature of about 20 ° C and a humidity of 40%.
Important: Like any other virus, COVID-19 dies from ultraviolet radiation and after treatment with antiseptics. This is due to the structural features of the viral cell, which contains only a DNA chain and a protective envelope.
However, there is a hypothesis that by settling on organic matter, the virus is able to maintain vital activity for a longer time. Some food products, especially vegetables and fruits, are at risk of potential carriers of coronavirus infection. So far, this is only a hypothesis without scientific evidence. However, do not forget that there is still very little information about the new virus, so an extra precaution will not hurt today. Another catch is that objects and surfaces can be disinfected with antiseptics, while fruits and vegetables need special treatment.
According to the opposite point of view, the virus lives on fruits for no more than 48 hours. Epidemiologists refer to the fact that there are no confirmed cases of infection through fetuses among the diseased.
What can the coronavirus carry?
Fruits and vegetables on the shelves in the public domain could theoretically pose a threat of contamination. Busy shopping malls and large supermarkets are best avoided and purchased from small shops. Despite the fact that experts have ruled out the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 through fruits, you should play it safe and do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Important: When choosing fruits, do not touch the fruits with your bare hands. If you do not have gloves, you can put a plastic bag on your hand.
What can’s and what can’s be?
Fruit supplies to Russia are carried out from China, Thailand and other countries of Southeast Asia, which are initially under the control of sanitary services, due to a potentially dangerous epidemiological situation.
In the fall of 2019, the import of apples, plums, peaches, pears, quince and nectarines to Russia from China was suspended.
Not so long ago, the news about infected bananas spread all over the Internet, but was refuted by scientists. Epidemiologists noted that there is no supply of Chinese bananas, in addition, the fruit is additionally protected by a thick peel, which is removed before consumption.
To date, China has practically coped with the epidemic, but COVID-19 is spreading uncontrollably around the world, so fruits from other countries: pomelo, lychee, pitaya, rambutan should not be consumed.
How to handle correctly?
To protect against dangerous infection, fruits and vegetables should be handled properly. First of all, the fruits are recommended to be thoroughly rinsed under water and dried.
- Potatoes, beets, radishes, carrots and other root vegetables should first be cleaned of the soil by washing in running water and using a brush. Then the peel is removed from them and the vegetables are heat-treated.
- Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, pumpkin are recommended to be washed under running water and soap. Brush uneven surfaces.
- White cabbage is usually not washed, but the top dirty or damaged leaves are removed, gradually reaching clean and fresh ones.
- Oranges, tangerines, lemons and other citrus fruits can be pre-rinsed with boiling water, then rinsed in warm water.
- Apples, nectarines, bananas, plums, pears are thoroughly washed under running water with soap and then peeled.
- Greens and grapes are usually soaked in warm water and then thoroughly rinsed under the tap. The processing method is repeated three times.
And in conclusion, we can say with confidence that the nature of viruses has not yet been fully understood. However, you shouldn't give up vegetables and fruits. On the contrary, the fruits contain many useful substances that the body needs to ensure life and strengthen the immune system. It is important to take precautions and properly handle fruits and vegetables, then the risks associated with the transmission of a dangerous infection will be minimized.