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Coronavirus spreads to other apartments via bathroom pipelines: Chinese study finds

Chinese researches have found coronavirus in the bathroom of an unoccupied apartment, while conducting a large study around the spread of the virus.

The traces SARS-CoV-2 were detected in February on the sink, faucet and shower handle of a long-vacant apartment in China’s Guangzhou, researchers at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated in a published study, Bloomberg reports.

The bathroom was reportedly located above an apartment of a family of five, who had tested positive for Covid-19 just a week before to it.




Through “an on-site tracer simulation experiment”, scientists found out that Covid19 partciles can drift into home though plumbing; via airborne particles that can be created by the force of a toilet flush.

In a certain case, researchers also derived that warm, moist air from the bathroom of a SARS patient, whose feces and urine tend to contain “extremely high concentrations” of virus, established a plume in an air shaft that spread to other apartment increasing the circulation of the airborne disease.

Although toilets are a daily necessity, they “may promote fecal-derived aerosol transmission if used improperly, particularly in hospitals,” the China CDC researchers said.



As per the report, researchers cited a fluid-dynamics simulation that showed a “massive upward transport of virus aerosol particles” during flushing, leading to large-scale virus spread indoors.

Apartments buildings linked via a shared wastewater system stand a greater risk to this as sewer gases, which are often detectable by their odor, sometimes rise through pipes in the absence of sufficient water, carrying the possibility of spreading the virus.