Can You Get COVID-19 From ‘Toilet Plumes’? Researchers Say Maybe
Add one more thing to your public bathroom repertoire. A MASK! Apparently flushing toilets can create an "updraft" of coronavirus particles that are found in people's urine and feces. Yes, you read that right we could be catching COVID-19 through people's pee and poop particles.
A recent USA Today article cites researchers are worried that unmasked people in public bathrooms may be inhaling COVID-19 particles from a flushed urinal. The overall thought is that when a toilet or urinal flushes it causes the materials to shoot out "thousands of particles [can come] out of the toilet within 70 seconds of flushing, and that some can reach higher than a foot above the toilet bowl in half that time."
Charles Gerba from the University of Arizona told the USA Today in the article that;
"Many people aren't aware that toilets and urinals can release particles into the air, let alone that genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19 – can be found in patients' urine and stool." Cherles Gerba University of Arizona
As we are all now familiar with the to-do's that have come with COVID-19, wash your hands after touching surfaces, wear a mask in public, and now maybe we should add to that...flush the toilet with the lid down.
I should state that researchers are totally 100% sure that an infected person flushing the toilet will give you COVID-19, but "the World Health Organization says that short-range aerosol transmission . . . cannot be ruled out." Right now researchers believe it is mainly transmitted "through respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes."
The article ends with how most articles should end with 'toilet plume' theories.
"Somebody should really validate some of this experimentally. It’s a model, and there are a lot of assumptions." - Joshua Santarpia, a professor of pathology and microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
And if you are wearing your mask into a public bathroom and battling this potentially COVID-19 infected toilet plume, wash your mask as it has poop particles on it. ISH