Official institutions in China refute the rumours of salmon

July 02 00:59 2020

Refute the Rumor! Salmon Denied the Responsibility for the Detected New Coronavirus

On the evening of June 12th, the relevant department detected the new coronavirus from the cutting board of the imported salmon from Jingshen Seafood Wholesale Market. As soon as the news came out, quite a few supermarkets in Beijing and other provinces and cities had removed salmons from the shelves overnight. The safety of salmons has caused temporary public controversy.

Official Refutation of “Salmon Carrying the New Coronavirus”

Experts immediately refuted the rumor when the news came out, said that salmons could hardly be infected with the new coronavirus. On June 14th, the national authorities also made a response. In the 116th press of COVID-19 prevention and control work in Beijing, Zhang Jie, the deputy chief of Fengtai District, responded to the hearsay of “salmon carrying the new coronavirus.”

Zhang Jie said that on June 13th, the CDC of Fengtai District took 155 environmental samples from Yuegezhuang Market, and the test results were all negative.

Beijing CDC and Fengtai CDC have jointly carried out sampling tests on aquatic products area of Jingshen Seafood Wholesale Market, especially salmon trading stalls and the public areas there. A total of 469 samples was collected, including 186 throat swab samples and 283 environmental samples. All the tested results have been negative up to now. Since June 13th, nucleic acid testing has been conducted in markets across the country, so far with negative testing results everywhere.

Why is it almost Impossible for Salmon to Catch the New Coronavirus?

On May 1st, 2020, a research team of UCL published an article in which they analyzed the interaction between ACE2 protein homologs and TMPRSS2 protein homologs of 215 vertebrates and the new coronavirus, and concluded that it is difficult for the virus to infect fishes, birds, and reptiles, except mammals.

Asian Fishery Science Journal also published a paper jointly written by experts from FAO, China Academy of Fishery Sciences, and Yellow Sea Fishery Research Institute of China Academy of Fishery Sciences.

This paper pointed out that the new coronavirus belongs to the coronaviridae and β- coronavirus. β- coronavirus only infects mammals. Moreover, the new coronavirus mainly acts on the upper and lower respiratory tract, and its pathological effects are mainly concentrated in the lung. However, except for lungfish, other kinds of fishes do not have lungs. So it’s not easy for fishes to infect the virus. Xinfadi Market densely populated, involving a few links before cutting, such as slaughtering, transporting, packaging, etc. It is most likely that the intermediate links contacted people or objects carrying the virus, which led to the outbreak of this salmon incident.

Can We Eat Salmon at Ease?

At the peak of COVID-19 in February and March, there were not only no confirmed cases of new coronavirus infection in salmon trade but also some studies showed that salmon can effectively improve immunity, which is conducive to combating COVID-19. Wu Zunyou, the chief expert of China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with China News Weekly that it was still uncertain whether the source of infection is salmon after the preliminary judgment that new cases in Beijing may have come into contact with the polluted environment in the market or the infected people. Some experts said that being detected of the new coronavirus is not equal to being infected, and salmon itself is almost impossible to infect the new coronavirus.

From the perspective of consumers, choosing salmons with regular channels to a certain extent eliminates the risk from the source. Secondly, the risk can be further reduced if salmon is frozen for more than 24 hours at -30 ℃ and be eaten cooked.

At the same time, it is also necessary to choose the aquatic product’s market with national standards to ensure the regular channels and safe aquatic products source; try to use the staggered purchase to avoid people gathering. Risks of infection can also be cut down if people don’t stay there for a long time. After purchasing, salmon and other aquatic products are supposed to be cleaned for times, and can only be eaten being cooked thoroughly. Finally, paying attention to separate aquatic products from other objects in storage to reduce secondary infection.

In conclusion, we can eat salmon at ease. But during this special period, we should be more invested in the purchase channels and storage conditions, and try to eat them after fully cooked.

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