Group of experts sees insignificant covid-19 risk associated with aquatic food animals

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute has contributed to an overall expert opinion on covid-19 and fish, in addition to other animals that live in water.

An article on the topic has been prepared on the initiative of The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in response to the need of clear communication regarding covid-19 and concerns about potential contamination of aquatic animals used as food. Edgar Brun, Department Manager Fish Health and Welfare, has participated as a Norwegian representative.

Coronavirus is only reported to infect mammals. Currently there is no evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, can infect aquatic food (fish, crustaceans, molluscs, amphibians). Therefore, these animals do not play an epidemiological role in spreading covid-19 to humans.

Aquatic food animals and their products, like all other surfaces, can potentially be contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, especially when handled by people infected with the virus. However, with proper food handling and hygiene, the likelihood of contamination of aquatic animals or their products with SARS-CoV-2 should be negligible.

The article is published on the Asian Fishery Organization page.

Other FAO article on the topic.

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