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VERIFY: Can you get Coronavirus from packages shipped from China?

Can the virus survive on a package long enough to get you sick? We set out to VERIFY.

MINNEAPOLIS — So far, 17 people have died from the Coronavirus in China.

Here in the U.S. there haven't been any deaths from the virus.

But one case of the illness has been confirmed in Seattle and another possible case is being investigated in Texas.

RELATED: China confirms 1st death outside epicenter of coronavirus outbreak; expands lockdowns to 25 million


Joy Johnson messaged us on Facebook, asking "Can I get Coronavirus from a package being delivered from China?"

That's a great question.

Here’s what we found out.


According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the answer is no.


Medical experts say the Coronavirus can only survive on inanimate objects for a few hours, maybe a day or two in perfect laboratory conditions.

"The time it would take to get here would be plenty of time for the virus to lose its viability," Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann says.

And according to FedEx, the fastest a package could get to Minnesota from China is about four days.

So, doing some basic math, even under the perfect conditions, the virus wouldn't be able to survive long enough to get you sick.

"If you set up the perfectly bad scenario where you ordered your favorite thing from China and the person who packaged it sneezed on the box, by the time it got to you in Minnesota the virus would not be a concern," Ehresmann says.


But what about the airport?

Could you possibly get the Coronavirus from another traveler?


Again, it's highly unlikely.


Ehressman says the Chinese government has travel restrictions in place and the CDC is testing all travelers coming into the country from affected regions.

RELATED: Wuhan to suspend public transportation amid new coronavirus outbreak in China

And right now experts say this strain of Coronavirus is less contagious than others.

"The idea that you would just happen to be going through the airport and somehow pick this up, that's not something we're worried about."

So, we can Verify, it's nearly impossible to get the Coronavirus from a package shipped from China and it's very unlikely you'll catch it at the airport.

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