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Study Finds COVID-19 Virus Remains in Stool Samples

Research conducted in different universities found RNA from SARS-CoV-2 in stool samples from COVID-19 patients, which led to more questions about the virus including "Can COVID-19 spread through feces?" One of the symptoms of many COVID-19 patients is diarrhea, which indicated that the virus had attacked the intestinal tracts. Further studies are being conducted to investigate if outbreaks in certain areas were caused by wastewater transmission of the virus.

Research conducted in different universities found RNA from SARS-CoV-2 in stool samples from COVID-19 patients, which led to more questions about the virus including "Can COVID-19 spread through feces?"

 

One of the symptoms of many COVID-19 patients is diarrhea, which indicated that the virus had attacked the intestinal tracts. Further studies are being conducted to investigate if outbreaks in certain areas were caused by wastewater transmission of the virus.

 

Some studies also showed that the coronavirus RNA is abundant in hospital bathrooms and a modeling study indicated that flushing a toilet can spew viral particles far above the toilet seat. Thus, a person could be exposed to the virus by inhalation of aerosolized fecal matter or by ingestion after touching a contaminated surface.

 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is not yet clear if the virus in feces can cause COVID-19. They said that the risk of spreading the virus this way is "low." To date, there are no documented cases clearly showing infection through fecal matter.

 

Read more from Science.

Figure: Apartment buildings in Guangzhou, China, where toilet waste pipes may have carried the novel coronavirus from one infected family's bathroom to people living above them.

Prisma Bildagentur/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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