In a research published in the journal Environmental International, revealed that the authorities and common people are already preventing person-to-person transmission. However, the Covid-19 virus can also spread through sewage waters.
The environmental scientists have also cautioned the probable spread of Covid-19 virus through the sewage. They mentioned that the viruses that are shed from the digestive system of the Covid-19 individuals have seen to last longer than those that are from the respiratory tract.
The study co-author of the University of Stirling, Scotland, Richard Quilliam says that their research has established the virus can be present in the human feces up to 33 days after the infected person has been tested negative for the respiratory symptoms for SARS CoV-2.
Quilliam said since most Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic or experience just mild symptoms and remain at home, there is a significant risk of “widespread” distribution through sewers.
The scientists have cautioned that there is a transmission risk in the sewage system.
They also revealed that the structural composition of SARS CoV- 2 (the lipid envelope) shows that it will act inversely in aqueous environments, compared to other viruses that are usually found in the human intestines. There is very less information about the endurance of Covid-19 virus, but the study revealed that other corona viruses can survive in the sewage for up to 14 days, if the environmental conditions are suitable.
Qulliam also said that the transmission of the virus through the fecal oral route has not yet been confirmed, but viral shedding from the digestive system definitely lasts longer than the viral shedding of the respiratory tract. Therefore, the fecal-oral route should also be considered as a route for increased exposure of the virus.
As most Covid-19 infected individuals experience mild symptoms or are almost asymptomatic and stay at home, the risk of this virus spread through the sewers is more, he added.
The biologists say that since tests are not being conducted, it is not possible to predict how risky this probable spread of the virus through the sewage system could be and what steps should be taken when this infected water is treated in the treatment centers.
In one of the studies conducted, the researchers mentioned that the transport of corona virus through water will enhance the probability of the virus to become aerosolized, especially when the waste water is pumped through the sewage system for the treatment of water. The same study also revealed that the risk of fecal oral transmission might be more in places where open defecation and in places where the sanitation system is poorly managed.
In such places, the waterways are used as both sources of water in domestic households and in open sewers. The healthcare systems in such places are flimsy and thus enhance the exposure of risk and probability of virus transmission.
Presently, all the data published about SARS CoV-2 fecal shedding are from patients that have been admitted to the hospitals for Covid-19 treatment. These patients show very less symptoms of this infection or are asymptomatic.
In order to have a better understanding of fecal transmission of SARS CoV-2, the authorities need to provide more resources.