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Can store workers contaminate food with coronavirus? Are children affected more than we thought?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus

DETROIT – There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the coronavirus, so Local 4 is letting viewers submit questions so we can find verified answers.

Click here if you want to submit a question about the coronavirus.

Dr. Frank McGeorge wants to verify or refuse any information about the coronavirus, but there are also some questions experts still don’t know the answer to. McGeorge is discussing them because acknowldging what we don’t know is just as important as verifying information so people don’t rely on incorrect answers.

Food contamination

When we go to a restaurant, we expect a certain level of care has been taken all the way from the kitchen to the server in order to ensure food is thoroughly cooked, uncontaminated and safe to eat.

There’s a level of trust and faith needed when eating out, but what about other circumstances?

Viewers from Macomb Township to Southgate asked Local 4: Can store workers contaminate fresh fruits or vegetables?

The answer is yes. Anyone with any communicable disease from coronavirus to hepatitis A can contaminate unwashed produce.

The current COVID-19 situation shouldn’t change any of the cleanliness habits you already have. All fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating, and you should wash your hands when you handle anything that’s potentially contaminated.

How vulnerable are children?

Viewers had previously asked how much children are affected by coronavirus, The answer was almost none.

Early studies suggested that children were minimally affected. At that time, published data suggested that less than 1% of confirmed COVID-19 infections in China were in children younger than 10 years old.

There’s newly published information that updates the numbers. A student from Shenzhen, China, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, has found that prior to Jan. 24, the portion of infected children was under 2%.

In the sample between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5, 13% of infected individuals were children, the study found.

Researchers believe one important cause is a shift in the way the virus is being spread, increasing transmission within families.

It’s important to note that although their study potentially showed more children were being infected than previously thought, researchers still found children had much milder infections, which is good news going forward.


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