Why you should shut the toilet lid to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Researchers from China's Yangzhou University say more attention needs to be paid to toilets as potential sources of infection
YANGZHOU, CHINA — Researchers from China's Yangzhou University have used computer simulations to show that water flushed in an uncovered toilet can eject infected aerosol droplets up to three feet, or one meter, in the air, according to a study published on June 16 in the journal Physics of Fluids.
Up to 60 percent of the particles reach above the toilet seat and these droplets can remain airborne for up to a minute, the researchers found.
The virus could then infect others who inhale the aerosols or come into contact with infected surfaces, such as by touching door handles or toilet seats where the droplets have landed.
In the journal the researchers noted that more attention needs to be paid to toilets as potential sources of infection and even toilet design, writing, "According to the characteristics of fecal-oral transmission, there will be a large amount of viruses within a toilet when a confirmed case uses it. Thus, toilets should be regarded as one of the infection sources."
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