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Coronavirus: Can Chinese products get you sick?

Can products shipped to you from China carry the coronavirus?

PHOENIX — The Wuhan coronavirus is making tens of thousands of people sick and has killed hundreds. So it's no surprise that people are scared of catching it from any source.

A viewer named Samantha sent us an email asking about products she had recently ordered that were being shipped from China.

The email said the products were unable to be shipped because of the coronavirus and ended with, "in consideration of your health and safety issues, we cancel [sic] your order."

Samantha took that to mean the shipper was concerned that the virus might hitch a ride on the cashmere sweater she bought and come to the United States. 

We went to Kevin Stephan, an infectious disease expert with eInfectionMD.com to verify. 

"At room temperature, on surfaces like metal and plastic," Stephan said. "it lasts maybe up to nine days."

Stephan said tests of other types of coronaviruses have shown it could potentially survive longer in the right conditions, like cold temperatures and humidity, but those are not likely to be found anywhere in shipping. 

The Centers for Disease Control also says there's no evidence the virus can come over on imported products and points out that none of the confirmed cases in the US have been from an imported Chinese product. 

So we can verify that you're more likely to catch the coronavirus from a person than a Chinese product. 

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