A research was conducted by a group of scientists in which they have reportedly warned that the potential transmission of COVID-19 via sewage “must not be neglected”. As per reports, the scientists have claimed that the pathogens from the digestive system of infected individuals appear to last longer as compared to the respiratory tract. The study was published in the journal Environmental International, which noted that the action to a pandemic is focused on preventing person-to-person transmission. As per reports, the researchers claimed that the virus might also spread in wastewater.
Richard Quilliam, study co-author from the University of Stirling in Scotland reportedly said that it has been proven that the virus can also be found in human excreta up to 33 days after the patient has tested negative for the respiratory symptoms of Covid-19. The scientists warned that the sewage system poses a huge threat of transmission based on their new findings. The study also added that the virus can remain viable in sewage for up to 14 days, depending on the environmental conditions.
Quilliam further said that it is still not clear whether the virus can be transmitted via the faecal-oral route. He added that most of the patients are asymptomatic or experience just mild symptoms and remain at home, there is a significant risk of “widespread” distribution through sewers.
The scientists noted that the presence of virus in water could increase the potential for the virus to become aerosolised, particularly during the pumping of wastewater through sewerage systems, at the wastewater treatment works.
They said that there could be a high risk in parts of the world with high levels of open defecation or the areas where the sewage management is not proper. The scientists added that the waterways in these places are used as both open sewers and sources of water for domestic purposes.