Asian Fisheries Society

Viewpoint: SARS-CoV-2 (The Cause of COVID-19 in Humans) is Not Known to Infect Aquatic Food Animals Nor Contaminate Their Products (Revised 23 April 2020)


This paper was prepared in response to the need for clear communication regarding the risk of transmission of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 in humans and the general societal concern of potential contamination of aquatic animals used as food or their products with the virus. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the family Coronaviridae and genus Betacoronavirus. Betacoronaviruses are only reported to infect mammals. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can infect aquatic food animals (e.g. finfish, crustaceans, molluscs, amphibians) and therefore these animals do not play an epidemiological role in spreading COVID-19 to humans. Aquatic food animals and their products, like any other surface, may potentially become contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, especially when handled by people who are infected with the virus. Nevertheless, with proper food handling and sanitation, the likelihood of contamination of aquatic animals or their products with SARS-CoV-2 should be negligible. The COVID-19 pandemic may indirectly affect livelihoods, food security and nutrition for populations that rely on aquatic animals as a source of food or income. However, COVID-19 outbreaks may also lead to an increase in local community consumption and/or utilisation of aquatic food animals or their products due to limited transportation and trade away from the fishing and harvesting communities or limited supplies of alternative sources of animal proteins.

Publication Date : 2020-04-22

Volume : 33

Issue : 1

Page : 74-78

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Date 2020/04/22
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