There was an article in today’s Daily Mail, stressing the importance of flushing your toilet with the lid DOWN. The reason, say scientists, is because the coronavirus may spread through ‘aerosolized feces’ – if people leave the lid up when they flush the toilet.
A study from China has shown the virus can be found in patients’ stools because it takes hold in the digestive system in some people.
Now, an American scientist said one of the ‘easiest ways’ to prevent more people catching the virus was to avoid creating a ‘toilet plume’.
Aaaaand ‘toilet plume,’ of course, is the phenomenon when faeces or urine particles are stirred up by the flush of water and are released into the air of the bathroom.
Um ewwww. But GO ON….
A total of 39 patients tested positive for faecal SARS-CoV-2, and the stool of 17 patients remained positive even after swabs from the throat or nose tested negative, according to the pre-proof paper in the journal Gastroenterology.’
Research from China indicates that the coronavirus may spread by faecal-oral transmission, not just via coughs, sneezes and skin-to-skin contact.
Dr Hong Shan, of Sun Yat-sen University, in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, and colleagues noted that the gastrointestinal tract is a welcoming environment for the virus, and therefore could exit the body in faeces.
A study looked at 73 patients hospitalized for possible COVID-19 and tested from February 1 to 14, 2020.
A total of 39 patients tested positive for the virus in the faeces. The duration of stool positivity ranged from one day to 12. Furthermore, the stool of 17 patients remained positive even after respiratory samples tested negative.
Although it is highly unlikely someone would catch coronavirus directly from another person’s stool, scientists said extra precautions can be taken.
Qingyan Chen, an engineer at Purdue University who has studied virus spread through transit ventilation systems, told Forbes there’s ‘one very easy way to help prevent the spread of coronavirus’ – close the lid and then flush.
He said 80 per cent of particles that escape from faecal matter into the air can be prevented this way.
All very important information that I will implement in my daily life starting now.
Although… I can’t help but be nostalgic for a time when the words “aerosolized feces’ and “toilet plume” weren’t on a loop in my head.
Read more about the phenomenon here.