Go ahead and open that package. Coronavirus doesn’t spread by mail.

Many of the retailer’s merchants are based in China, where one city, Wuhan, became known as ground zero for the virus. That connection has led many readers to question whether they should be fearful of parcels coming from affected areas in China or elsewhere.

The simple scientific answer, according to epidemiologists: No.

“If I put anything on a surface, that doesn’t tell us about the real world,” he said, noting the virus is mostly spread through droplet infections. “We just don’t have any evidence that this has ever been a problem.”

If people are ordering internationally, contracting the virus is even less of a concern, said Xi Chen, assistant professor of public and global health and economics at the Yale School of Public Health.

Chen said viruses similar to the coronavirus, such as SARS and MRSA, like low temperatures and low humidity, which aren’t consistent in transit.

“It’s important to be alert, but it’s not a time to panic,” he said. “The vast majority of cases are going to be mild.”

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