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Covid: the virus can stay for several months on refrigerated or frozen meat and develop in the intestine, according to an American study

The SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for Covid-19 can survive up to 30 days on meat products in the fridge or freezer. This is the conclusion of a study by researchers from the American Biological Society published in the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The starting point of this study is the appearance of Covid epidemics in Southeast Asia without prior community transmission. Thus, it has been suggested that packaged meat productsproduced in areas where SARS-CoV-2 was circulating, could have been the source of the virusexplained Emily S. Bailey one of the authors of the study. “Our goal was to determine whether or not similar viruses could survive in this environment.”

Covid can develop in the intestine

Therefore, the researchers stored chicken, beef, pork and salmon at refrigeration (4°C) and freezing (-20°C) temperatures with surrogate viruses with characteristics similar to those of SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers used as surrogates.​​​​​ an RNA virus with a lipid envelope and two animal coronaviruses, murine hepatitis virus and transmissible gastroenteritis virus

“Although you can’t keep meat in the fridge for 30 days, you can keep it in the freezer for just as long”Bailey said. “We even discovered that viruses could be cultured after [avoir été congelés] during this period”.

This finding is important because Covid can replicate in the gut, according to Bailey.

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