Why you should put the toilet lid down before flushing: study

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Researchers from China's Yangzhou University have used computer simulations to show that water flushed in an uncovered toilet can eject infected aerosol droplets up to three feet, or one meter, in the air, according to a study published on June 16 in the journal Physics of Fluids.

Up to 60 percent of the particles reach above the toilet seat and these droplets can remain airborne for up to a minute, the researchers found.

The virus could then infect others who inhale the aerosols or come into contact with infected surfaces, such as by touching door handles or toilet seats where the droplets have landed.

In the journal the researchers noted that more attention needs to be paid to toilets as potential sources of infection and even toilet design, writing, "According to the characteristics of fecal-oral transmission, there will be a large amount of viruses within a toilet when a confirmed case uses it. Thus, toilets should be regarded as one of the infection sources."

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Coronavirus present in the gut after symptoms disappear
2. Flushing uncovered toilet can eject infected droplets 1 meter (3 feet) into the air
3. Virus could then infect those who inhale the droplets or touch infected surfaces
4. How to reduce risk of fecal-oral transmission of the virus from toilets

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Previous research has shown the coronavirus can reproduce in the digestive system. A study published in May in the Lancet found virus particles in the feces of COVID-19 patients nearly five weeks after the patients had tested negative."

"Now, researchers from Yangzhou University have used computer simulations to show that water flushed in an uncovered toilet can eject infected aerosol droplets up to three feet, or one meter, in the air. Some stay in the toilet, but up to 60 percent of the particles reach above the toilet seat. And these droplets can remain airborne for up to a minute."

"The virus could then infect others who inhale the aerosols or come into contact with infected surfaces, such as by touching door handles or toilet seats where the droplets have landed, according to their research, which was published on June 16 in Physics of Fluids."

"To reduce the risk of fecal-oral transmission of the virus from toilets, the Chinese researchers recommend putting the toilet seat down before flushing, cleaning the toilet and other contact areas often, and washing one's hands after using the toilet."

SOURCES: Physics of Fluids
https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0013318