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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:14 pm   #1
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Default Disinfecting components from China.

I have recently bought components from China and intended to buy some more.

However the alarming news regarding the Corona virus is getting steadily worse I am considering the implications.

Could the packaging and components from Asia carry the infection to me?

Can I do anything to disinfect the components when they arrive?

I could use a sterilising solution for some hardware items and ultraviolet light for the more vulnerable components.

I am not particularly worried about myself but I have elderly parents and I know someone with a new baby.

Is anyone else concerned about deliveries from Asia?
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:21 pm   #2
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

It seems to be unlikely:
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:21 pm   #3
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Arrow Re: Disinfecting components

I've never thought about that - until now, having read your post. And yes, it is a concern. I do not have a remedy: let's see what others say . . . .

Some people have cats and go on to live normal lives.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:31 pm   #4
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

I suspect that no one in authority will state categorically that there is no risk at all.

So, on that basis, I won't be importing anything until the picture becomes clearer. It's still early days yet; it could turn out to be something of a non-event or it could yet prove to be seriously bad news, especially if it began to mutate.

Data beats opinions most times... that's my opinion, though I have no data on that.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:46 pm   #5
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

I think the flu out of Wuhan would have to mutate to become seriously bad news.

If we want something to worry about then the seasonal flu that we already have is quite scary enough. Public Health England report on it every year. Here's the latest one Surveillance_of_influenza. Last year we got away without a serious outbreak. But Table 7 in the PHE report says that in 2017/18 'ordinary' flu killed 26,000 people in the UK alone. In 2016/17 it was 18,000. In 2015/16 it was 12,000. In 2014/15 it was 28,000. So far the corona virus has killed a few hundred people.

Maybe we* should be disinfecting our Farnell deliveries ? Mine can be here inside 24 hours and it's possible for flu viruses to survive that long outside the human body.



*Not me. I've had the flu jab.

Last edited by GrimJosef; 30th Jan 2020 at 11:51 pm.
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Old 30th Jan 2020, 11:58 pm   #6
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

I just licked a roll of RG316 that landed on my door this morning from China. Iíll let you know what happens
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 12:01 am   #7
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

Most of my electronic purchases are second hand. To be on the safe side, I wipe the exteriors with Dettol wipes or cotton wool soaked in dettol spray. Thankfully I have no components on the way from China at present. Coronaviruses, some of which also cause the common cold, are a family of viruses spread via droplets that enter the human body via mucous membranes of the respiratory tract or conjunctivae but we are not sure of the viability of the Wuhan strain or its ability to infect us in other ways e.g. accidental ingestion from contaminated articles. That is a worry.

Last edited by Jolly 7; 31st Jan 2020 at 12:09 am.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 3:46 am   #8
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

We worry too much me thinks.

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Old 31st Jan 2020, 8:09 am   #9
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

Expose the parts to UV-C light for a few minutes, that ought to do the trick?
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. (Einstein)
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 9:45 am   #10
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

Hi. I have some parts coming from China IC's etc' I will let you know, but it's a worry. I am glad someone else had the same thoughts, but it's not only electronic parts it's lots of everyday items also.

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Old 31st Jan 2020, 9:53 am   #11
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

I agree that the risk is probably small, but would suggest that it could be made even smaller with some basic precautions.

Open packages whilst out doors and wear a dust mask and gloves.
Burn the outer packaging.
Expose the components to either direct sunlight or to a germicidal lamp.
Place the components in a new and well sealed plastic bag.
Store in the sealed bag for a week before use.

When required for use, unpack and wipe with alcohol based cleaning compound. Burn the bag.

Ideally, postpone purchases for a bit.

Follow general good hygiene practices, including frequent hand washing, frequent hot laundering of clothing, towels and bedding.
If you start to get cold or flue symptoms, it is probably an ordinary cold, but take extra care.
Use paper tissues and burn the used ones.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 10:27 am   #12
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

If we can establish how long a virus can survive without a host this could render some of the other precautions superfluous-Josef suggests 24hrs- i have nothing to contradict this with. (I must admit i like the UV-C idea though- with appropriate eye precautions)

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Old 31st Jan 2020, 10:50 am   #13
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

The NHS says here that flu viruses can survive 24 hours on hard surfaces but only 15 minutes on tissues. I imagine the risk of any virus surviving the days/weeks trip from China on an inanimate object has to be infinitesimal.

Far and away the best vector for viral infections is people. If you want to avoid the flu, local (which is very prevalent here) or Wuhan (which isn't), then stay away from people as much as possible and, when you can't, practice good hand hygiene. Wash frequently and try not to touch your eyes/nose/mouth. I dread to think what's living on the surface of supermarket trolley handles, particularly the ones where toddlers' hands are between their parents'.

(I'm Graeme, by the way. Graeme Joseph to be exact. GrimJosef was what the Russian visa authorities printed on my passport once, and my wife still thinks it's funny .)


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Old 31st Jan 2020, 11:11 am   #14
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Default Re: Disinfecting components

Coronaviruses will not survive in the environment for the several weeks it will take parts to travel from China. You are much more likely to catch it in places frequented by Chinese tourists, like central London or Oxford.

There is speculation that one of the two confirmed UK cases was a Chinese tourist at Bicester Village.

There is no reason to panic about this anyway. Both the infection and mortality rates seem to be comparable with conventional influenza - people in otherwise good health aren't going to suddenly drop dead if they catch it. It's not like Ebola.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 11:55 am   #15
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Default Re: Disinfecting components from China.

Re last paragraph of #13 - that's made my day, Graeme ... thanks

Back on topic ...
I think it's a case of being cautiously pragmatic and maintaining a basic cleanliness/handwashing routine. Much depends upon upbringing, education and one's in-built sense of self-preservation. Where one's own best efforts will be negated are those situations arising whereby the less well-informed (?careless?ignorant?downright lazy?) members of society choose to disregard even basic hygiene and aren't challenged because it would be deemed politically incorrect to do so. Yesterday I took SWMBO to hospital for an eye test - after seeing her safely into the opthalmic appojntments area, I went back to the main reception and made use of the toilets ... of the seven men who were using those facilities, I was the only one who washed hands before leaving that facility - and afterwards used the alcohol-rub dispenser as per the hospital instructions. I realise this might engender in some a sense of 'oh, bully for you, goody two-shoes' - but there we are, that's democracy/freedom of speech for you. I couldn't agree more wjth the overall concerns raised earlier regarding supermarket trolley handles ...

Those who subscribe to the Darwinian theory of evolution might well argue that the best way of dealing with such contagions is to let them run their course such that the survivors form a genetically-adapted pool from which future generations will be better-equipped to survive.

In terms of goods coming in from other countries, I have no doubt there are those whose disposition towards our way of life is one of fanatical motivation towards its absolute destruction in favour of their own - and if it could be achieved in a non-traceable way, these people would have already used such means for the distribution of biochemical/biomedical agents in pursuit of those objectives*. The circumstances arising prior to, during and after the Salisbury 'Novichok' terrorist attack shows just how poorly-prepared the British public are for any major outbreak arising from biochemical/biomedical events of this sort.

* I can recommend Tom Clancy's novel 'Executive Orders' which covers just such a scenario

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Old 31st Jan 2020, 11:58 am   #16
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Default Re: Disinfecting components from China.

Have heard just now that we have the first two confirmed UK cases here in Newcastle, although they first showed symptoms in Yorkshire and were brought up here for the Royal Victoria Infirmary's specific capability for dealing with infectious diseases. The authorities will now have the unenviable headache of trying to trace everyone they were recently in contact with.

The company I work for makes, supplies and repairs wireless nursecall equipment among other things, so we may find ourselves having to take further precautions, over and above the usual, when items needing repair are returned to us for attention.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 12:30 pm   #17
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Default Re: Disinfecting components from China.

It's fascinating to see that the latest human neurosis about climate change has suddenly been put on the back burner by something microscopic that can render us useless or dead in a matter of hours.
Good old Mother Nature eh for never allowing to be second-guessed.

If you're worried about an imported item just blow some cigarette smoke on it LOL
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 1:39 pm   #18
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Default Re: Disinfecting components from China.

I have been wondering just how many people have been exposed and simply shrugged it off as if it was seasonal flu. This already happens with hepatitis B leaving an immunity that can be tested for. This test is used to confirm that the vaccine has worked. The medics do this test because it is cheaper to leave the natural immunity in place without incurring the cost of the vaccine and the follow up test.
There may also be people who are on medications that stop it dead for something else without anyone knowing that it is happening.
I have seen one or two people walking around with masks on.
I am not making too much fuss about it at the moment as it is not a death sentence even though it is unpleasant.
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Old 31st Jan 2020, 2:01 pm   #19
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Default Re: Disinfecting components from China.

Originally Posted by cheerfulcharlie View Post
It's fascinating to see that the latest human neurosis about climate change has suddenly been put on the back burner by something microscopic that can render us useless or dead in a matter of hours ...
Fascinating perhaps, but not correct I think. This isn't a bad flu. So far almost all the people who have died were old and quite poorly anyway. It might mutate into something worse, but flu happens. It always has and I suspect it always will. At its very worst (the 1919 Spanish flu) it killed 3-5% of the planet's population. 95-97% either didn't catch it or got over it.

Climate change has the potential to make large parts of the earth uninhabitable because there will be neither food nor fresh water there. That, along with any conflict which arises from it, could kill enough of us to make even the worst flu look insignificant.


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Old 31st Jan 2020, 3:22 pm   #20
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Default Re: Disinfecting components from China.

The items I ordered from China are due to be delivered in the next few days. Based upon the various comments Iíve just read, when the parcel arrives I shall take all necessary precautions and leave the contents outside for several days.
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