RESEARCH has shown that flushing toilet can send little cloud of particles containing fecal matters that could carry coronavirus.
This was disclosed in a new computer modeling study where doctors show that coronavirus can live and replicate in the digestive system. The research stated that the evidence of the virus has been found in human waste and it considered a possible route of transmission.
Meanwhile, a team at Yangzhou University in China wrote in a journal Physics of Fluids, that they used computer modeling to show how the water from a flushed toilet could spray up into the air as high as three feet.
Ji-Xiang Wang of Hangzhou University who worked on the study said in a statement, “One can foresee that the velocity will be even higher when a toilet is used frequently, such as in the case of a family toilet during a busy time or a public toilet serving a densely populated area”.
While other studies strongly suggested that norovirus is a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, that can also be spread via flushing toilets.
However, in April, researchers opined that toilets might provide a way for coronavirus to spread. Whereas in additional research,” Carmen McDermott of the University of Washington School of Medicine and colleagues revealed in April in the Journal of Hospital Infection that evidence of SARS-CoV-2 contamination of surface and air samples outside of isolation rooms, and experimental data were showing that SARS-CoV-2 could live in aerosols for three hours, and should raise concerns about this mode of transmission and prompt.
“Fecal shedding seems to occur in patients without gastrointestinal symptoms, which could enable asymptomatic individuals with no respiratory symptoms to be a source of fecal transmission,” they added.
At least one researcher not involved in the study said it made some sense, even if it’s theoretical.
According to Bryan Bzdek, an aerosol researcher at Britain’s University of Bristol in his statement, “the viral load in fecal matter and the fraction of resulting aerosol containing the virus is unknown. Even if the virus were contained in the produced aerosols, it is unknown whether the virus would still be infectious; there is not yet clear evidence for fecal-oral transmission,” he noted.
“The study authors also advised that whenever possible, we should keep the toilet seat down when we flush, clean the toilet seat and any other contact areas frequently, and wash our hands after using the toilet. While this study is unable to demonstrate that these measures will reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, many other viruses are transmitted though the fecal-oral route, so these are good hygiene practices to have anyway.”