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New coronavirus may spread through poop

This is a transmission electron microscope image showing the new coronavirus emerging from the surface of human cells.
This is a transmission electron microscope image showing the new coronavirus emerging from the surface of human cells.
(Image: © NIAID-RML)

The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which has now infected nearly 76,000 people, spreads mostly through respiratory droplets and contact with infected patients. But new research suggests that it can also spread through feces.

There are currently more cases of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2) than would be expected if the virus were spreading only through respiratory droplets and contact with infected patients, according to a report published Feb. 15 by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).

Previous tests have found that the coronavirus can be present in feces, but it was unclear if the virus would be viable enough to spread to another person, according to a previous Live Science report. So, a group of researchers analyzed stool samples from patients with COVID-19.

Related: Going viral: 6 new findings about viruses

They isolated the coronavirus from one patient who had severe pneumonia and examined the virus under an electron microscope. They found that the coronavirus was viable. "This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water, etc.," the China CDC wrote in the report. People who use the bathroom and then don't wash their hands could spread the virus to others, for instance.

"This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain its strong transmission and fast transmission speed," the China CDC wrote. To avoid feces contamination, the China CDC recommends washing your hands frequently, disinfecting surfaces, maintaining personal hygiene, avoiding the consumption of raw food, boiling water before drinking it and disinfecting hospital environments.

Another study, published Feb. 17 in the journal Emerging Microbes and Infections, found that the virus was present in blood and anal swabs taken from patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Originally published on Live Science.

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  • reggieC
    Incredibly, a toilet plume can spread up to 15 feet after a flush and those particles can stay in the air for hours. That means that if other people in your household flush with the lid open, germs from previous users will spread anyway, even if those previous flushers shut the lid on their turn.
    Reply
  • Old Man
    Years ago it was discovered that farts could transmit diseases. How long do you think it will be before they connect the dots and state that farts can transmit this disease since it lives in fecal matter?
    Reply
  • Knowledge is power
    Old Man said:
    Years ago it was discovered that farts could transmit diseases. How long do you think it will be before they connect the dots and state that farts can transmit this disease since it lives in fecal matter?
    what are you doing running around naked farting at people anyway:)
    The Chinese are saying the virus is found in urine and feceas, ulcers to the lungs like Sars and Mers.
    Reply
  • kamikrazee
    Knowledge is power said:
    what are you doing running around naked farting at people anyway
    The Chinese are saying the virus is found in urine and feceas, ulcers to the lungs like Sars and Mers.
    You can do those things when you are old. Shoo'ng kids off the lawn, spanking puppies and running around naked, farting at people. One of the perq's of old age.
    Reply
  • shelby
    Major parts of Asia, NYC and San Fran allow people to defecate on streets. The feces will then dry out and can become airborne. Could this make NYC and San Fran hot spots?
    Reply
  • roki Ni
    I guess majority of people don't know the fact that Chinese never use toilet paper.
    After pooping, they use only a little water and bare hands instead of toilet paper.
    Just imagine what they have beneath their nails.
    Now imagine what happens when they work in food industry, food gets infected within seconds.
    Reply
  • Observeration2020
    Not really news. Almost all disease viral or bacteriological can to some degree spread through fresh warm poop and even fresh cooling poop only hours old.

    Big news would be that it lasted days or weeks or could pass through rough primary sewage treatment plants to rivers (as might happen during heavy rainfall even in most US cities or in lesser developed countries where primary treatment was the high bar).
    Reply
  • Observeration2020
    roki Ni said:
    I guess majority of people don't know the fact that Chinese never use toilet paper.
    After pooping, they use only a little water and bare hands instead of toilet paper.
    Just imagine what they have beneath their nails.
    Now imagine what happens when they work in food industry, food gets infected within seconds.

    Paper fails quite a bit as does where you hold it.

    Its distressing that you imply you see no need to use soap and water after pooping simply because you use toilet paper. Wink.

    Seriously water as water cleaning of posterior is SUPERIOR to toilet paper. Paper leaves smears. Bidets are more ecologically sound as well. Cheaper on plumbing clogs for household too.

    *** In all cases (toilet paper or bidet) you should use soap and water on hands with inspection and cleaning of fingernails. ***
    Reply
  • Observeration2020
    Observeration2020 said:
    Paper fails quite a bit as does where you hold it.

    Its distressing that you imply you see no need to use soap and water after pooping simply because you use toilet paper. Wink.

    Seriously water as water cleaning of posterior is SUPERIOR to toilet paper. Paper leaves smears. Bidets are more ecologically sound as well. Cheaper on plumbing clogs for household too.

    *** In all cases (toilet paper or bidet) you should use soap and water on hands with inspection and cleaning of fingernails. ***
    Bidets are fairly standard through out the world barring North America and the UK. Even the UK is slowly transitioning to bidet availability and soap and water for hands afterward.

    Of course every national rivalry, mostly friendly or not, will probably make reference to "...except rival B where they do not wipe or wash at all..." to the other side.
    Reply
  • roki Ni
    Observeration2020@
    It's you who implies that all Chinese use soap after touching their poop with bare hand, can you guarantee that they use soap afterwards? NO!

    You've said: "Paper fails quite a bit as does where you hold it. " -IT DOES if you are ignorant enough not to FOLD IT ONCE OR TWICE before use. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:.
    Anyway, if it happens that I touch a bit of feces, then I wash my hands at least two times more than usual, because it leaves terrible stench.

    On the other hand, you are grabbing fistful of your warm poop :poop::poop:(n)(n) with your bare hands each time after defecation, like some filthy disgusting monkey. You must be stinking, and probably got used to the stench, same as many Chinese people stink, and I'm not trying to insult them that by saying that, it's just a fact.
    Reply