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Can a toilet promote virus transmission? Can coronavirus infection spread by flushing the toilet?

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What is Toilet virus?

Isn’t this something new to hear!

The fact is, people are getting to know something new for the first time, which is in fact in existence for many years since. Perhaps the Toilet virus’s awareness is emphasized in this present Covid-19 pandemic that is seriously getting life-threatening.

Many recent studies conducted by researchers from China, the American Institute of Physics Biomechanics, and other worldwide top research centers have confirmed the risk of virus-containing particles from toilet flushing.

What does the Research Scenario State?

Although the risk of getting the Covid-19 virus from the faeces of an infected person is low, there is still some evidence to emphasize that the Covid-19 virus may cause intestinal infection, which can be present in the faeces.

vaata toilet virus

With about 2 – 10% of Covid-19 cases confirmed presented with diarrhea, two studies spotted Covid-19 viral RNA fragments present in the faecal matter of the patients infected with Covid-19.

Besides creating fear and chaos, the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases across the world has now created a new theory spreading across social media and news – the spread of Coronavirus through toilet flushing.

Is the Spread of Toilet Virus – Coronavirus through flushing of toilet actual?

vaata toilet virus image

The fact should be analyzed and cross-checked to reduce the panic that people are experiencing now.

According to the study published in a journal, Physics of Fluids, blocking the faecal-oral transmission path, which may occur during toilet usage, is the fundamental cause to suppress the spread of Coronavirus.

What is Faecal-oral route?

“The faecal -oral route (also called the oral–faecal route or orofecal route) describes a particular route of transmission of a disease wherein pathogens in faecal particles pass from one person to the mouth of another person. Main causes of faecal–oral disease transmission include lack of adequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices”

Wikipedia

As an attempt to prove this theory, significant studies were conducted, and as a result, the fact emphasizes that while flushing the toilet, strong turbulence is being generated within the bowl; when this turbulent flow expels virus-containing aerosol particles out of the bowl, the chances of spread of coronavirus increases.

An upward velocity of 5m/second is produced while the toilet is flushed. This is capable enough to expel aerosol particles out of the toilet bowl.

In addition, the study also finds that 40 – 60% of particles can rise above the toilet seat and spread to a large area. The particles can reach over 106 cm in height from the ground. Even after the last flushing, for about 35 -70 seconds, the spread particles continue to climb.

Moreover, considering the faecal-oral transmission characteristics, when an infected person uses the toilet, there is a massive chance of the toilet bowl containing any viruses. Therefore, toilets should be considered as one of the effective infection sources. This scenario is threatening when all family members share a bathroom despite a Covid-19 confirmed case at home quarantine or a public washroom shared by a group of people.

What are the safeguards?

While extensive research is going on in different countries on the phenomenon of the spread of the Coronavirus through toilets, we can take the following precautions while using the toilet:

  • We should keep the toilet bowl and rim clean and disinfected, using a reputed brand of automatic toilet cleaner. You should select an automatic toilet cleaner that dispenses, in every flush, both disinfectant and surfactant.
  • Flushing of the toilet should be done twice as a good hygiene practice – once before using the toilet and another after using it.
  • Always the post-use flush should be done after closing the toilet bowl.
  • Let the toilet bowl should remain covered always.
  • After using the toilet, one should wash the hands thoroughly in a liquid soap hand wash.
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