A researched-based study in China found that the COVID-19 bacteria can spread just by flushing. In fact in just six seconds the virus can jump upward two feet.
“Urinal flushing indeed promotes the spread of bacteria and viruses,” Xiangdong Liu, one of the Yangzhou University researchers and authors of the study as reported by USA Today.
It is already known that COVID-19 germs can spread by surfaces and object. But just flushing a men’s urinal can also cause the virus to move in an “alarming upward flow.”.
“Wearing a mask should be mandatory within public restrooms during the pandemic, and anti-diffusion improvements are urgently needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Liu said.
Also be aware of who is urinating in that public toilet next to use. Another study also found that the act of urination can allow the virus to spread as much as three feet away — that can then linger in the air for up to a minute.
Researchers in that study said the droplets can spew out from a flushed toilet within 70 seconds and leap as much as a foot above the bowl.
“Potentially, it could contaminate other surfaces you would touch — the handle, the tap,” University of Arizona virology professor Charles Gerba told USA Today. “The concern is also, was there anything left over from the person who was there before? Aerosolization from the previous user you may potentially inhale?”
Gerba said most people are unaware that urine and stool release particles into the air, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“It’s probably been overlooked — urine contamination,” he told the outlet. “Smallpox, Zika virus are excreted in the urine. What’s surprising is that a respiratory virus can be excreted in the urine.”