Corona virus: transmission possible through online orders?

Corona virus: transmission possible through online orders?

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Can the new corona virus be transmitted through goods ordered online?

Worldwide, more and more people are becoming infected with the novel corona virus. The number of people affected is also increasing in Germany. In addition to the fear of direct infection, many are also concerned about the risk posed by goods from affected areas. But are infections possible through objects?

In Germany, further coronavirus cases were confirmed at the weekend. There are now infections with the pathogen in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Rhineland-Palatinate. Many people are concerned that they could also become infected. The fear of being infected by objects is also common. But is this concern justified?

Risk of infection from food or objects?

As the consumer advice center Thuringia writes in a current message, the corona virus has been occupying the media and increasingly the population for weeks.

Starting from China, the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 has now reached Europe and Germany. In addition to the risk of getting infected directly from sick people, there is also the question of whether there is a danger from, for example, food or toys from China or other severely affected countries.

According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), no such cases are known to date. So there are no reports of contamination from eating contaminated food or imported toys.

Based on current knowledge, unlikely

Scientific studies have shown that the corona virus is relatively unstable in the environment.

Based on this, the BfR concludes that, based on current knowledge, it is unlikely that imported food, toys, tools, clothing or technical devices could be sources of infection.

The greater risk is caused by so-called “smear infections” if contaminated goods are handed over to healthy people within a short period of time.

Important to know: Not all people who are infected also show symptoms. The German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) recently reported that the coronavirus was also detected in symptom-free travelers at Frankfurt University Hospital.

Comply with general hygiene measures

"The best protection for consumers is to comply with general hygiene rules to prevent the virus from spreading," said Luise Hoffmann, a specialist in food and nutrition from the Thuringia consumer center.

"This includes regular, thorough hand washing and coughing or sneezing in the crook of the arm," says the expert.

In addition, a distance to the sick (about 1 to 2 meters) must be maintained, the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) recommends on its portal "".

The experts point out that these measures are advisable everywhere and at all times, also in view of the flu wave.

And: “With food, the risk of infection can be reduced if the food is heated,” explains Hoffmann. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Consumer Center Thuringia: Corona virus transferable by online order ?, (accessed: 01.03.2020), Consumer Center Thuringia
  • Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR): Can the novel coronavirus be transmitted via food and toys ?, (accessed: 01.03.2020), Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)
  • German Center for Infection Research (DZIF): Detection of the new corona virus in symptom-free travelers from Wuhan, (accessed: 01.03.2020), German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)
  • Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA): Answers to frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), (retrieval: 01.03.2020),

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