New cases show novel coronavirus could spread via sewage pipes

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A Hong Kong woman fell victim to the new coronavirus after a man residing 10 floors directly above her unit became sick. The South Morning China Post reports on Tuesday that the new cases suggest building pipes could be a path for the virus.

Citing the WHO, Live Science reports that the coronavirus which causes SARS could get into feces and infect people through leaky pipes because compromised sewage pipes could allow pathogens to move into the surrounding air.

Toilets have a u-shaped drain to trap fluids and odor. However, the Washington Post reported in 2003 that faulty plumbing can cause backwash from toilets, which led to a SARS outbreak at another residential tower in Hong Kong.

Citing an infectious disease expert, Live Science explains that the new virus, now named COVID-19, could in fact transmit via feces, although aerosols from coughing and sneezing are still believed to be the main infection mechanism.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Two Hong Kong residents living on different floors of apartment building were infected
2. Sewage contamination is known to spread SARS, which is another coronavirus
3. Faulty plumbing could result in toilet backwash and infection
4. Aerosols still believed to be novel coronavirus' primary infection mechanism

VOICEOVER (in English):
"A Hong Kong woman fell victim to the new coronavirus after a man residing 10 floors directly above her unit became sick. The South Morning China Post reports on Tuesday that the new cases suggest building pipes could be a path for the virus."

"Citing the WHO, Live Science reports that the coronavirus which causes SARS could get into feces and infect people through leaky pipes because compromised sewage pipes could allow pathogens to move into the surrounding air."

"Toilets have a u-shaped drain to trap fluids and odor. However, the Washington Post reported in 2003 that faulty plumbing can cause backwash from toilets, which led to a SARS outbreak at another residential tower in Hong Kong."

"Citing an infectious disease expert, Live Science explains that the new virus, now named COVID-19, could in fact transmit via feces, although aerosols from coughing and sneezing are still believed to be the main infection mechanism."

SOURCES: South Morning China Post, Live Science, World Health Organization, The Washington Post
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3049921/tsing-yi-residents-evacuated-hong-kong-health
https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-spread-building-pipes.html
https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2003/pr70/en/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/04/18/in-hong-kong-apartment-tower-sars-virus-spread-through-plumbing/99bcd25f-de85-472a-b084-4f847e0dac9a/