Faecal transmission may explain why the new coronavirus has spread so quickly, especially in healthcare.
Most people are infected after a sick cough or sneeze and virus-bearing drops spray into the air, which are inhaled by others.
But Chinese researchers say they have found living viral particles in stool samples from people infected with the disease, showing that it can spread via the fecal-oral route,
And in overcrowded hospitals with medical devices that have almost no supply, an infectious disease expert tells DailyMail.com that the virus, known as COVID-19, can be spread by overworked doctors and nurses with the same, dirty gloves, coats, and masks for multiple treat patients instead of throwing them away for new, clean ones.
Faecal transmission may be behind the rapid spread of the corona virus, especially in hospitals, says an expert in infectious diseases. Pictured: Health workers treat a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Wuhan, February 16
New research shows that live virus particles have been found in patients’ stool samples, suggesting that fecal transmission may occur. On the photo: a doctor is checking a coronavirus patient in a hospital in Wuhan on 13 February
Earlier this month, a study the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 14 out of 138 patients in a Wuhan hospital initially had diarrhea or nausea before developing typical coronavirus symptoms a day or two later.
In addition, “patient zero” in the US experienced two days of bowel movements before coronavirus was detected in his stool samples.
“The virus can also be transmitted via the potential fecal-oral route,” the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on Saturday.
‘This means that faecal samples can contaminate hands, food, water and lead to infections.
Dr. John Crane, specialist in infectious diseases and professor of medicine at the University of Buffalo in New York, says that faecal transfer is especially worth considering in hospitals and in healthcare.
“If someone has to clean you up after bowel movements, there is a risk of spreading,” he told DailyMail.com.
He also pointed to the number of infected health workers in China, currently at more than 1,700,
‘I think that’s pretty high, because when you see the photos [of workers]”They’re covered in gear from head to toe,” said Dr. Crane.
“It raises the question of what kind of practices the Chinese health workers use because we know they have almost no stock.”
Dr. Crane adds that this can mean that protective equipment such as masks and gloves can be used with more than one patient.
‘Do you get just one mask after treating a patient? Can you change this? Do they throw away gloves and jackets or do they try to disinfect them? ‘ he said.
Faecal transmission was involved in two 2003 outbreaks of SARS, which belong to the same family as the new corona virus. Pictured: A doctor checks the temperature of a patient who has mild coronavirus symptoms in a hospital in Wuhan, 17 February
The Diamond Princess cruise ship (pictured), which was quarantined in Japan from February 5 to 19 in Japan, has the most cases outside of China on 621.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined from 5 February to 19 February in Japan, has the most cases outside of China at 621.
Many believe that the virus spread so quickly due to faecal transmission.
But Dr. Crane believes it was mainly due to a mix of people in isolation – who were sick – and people in quarantine – who were not sick – who were in such narrow neighborhoods.
The new virus belongs to the same family as SARS, which was also linked to a spread through stool
Hundreds of SARS cases in 2003 in the Amoy Gardens residential area in Hong Kong are probably caused by faecal samples.
A plume of warm air from the bathroom of a SARS patient with diarrhea did not pollute several adjacent apartments, but was even carried by wind to adjacent buildings.
Dr. Crane also points to a similar SARS outbreak in a nursing home in Toronto in 2003 after it was thought that the virus was no longer in Canada.
“The nursing home patients were bed-bound and used bed pans and they infect people who visited the nursing home and inmates,” he said.
“We want to make sure this doesn’t happen here.”
Dr. Crane noted that similar cases can occur with COVID-19 because the virus is much more contagious than SARS, despite the lower death rate.
Even if the virus can be transmitted via faecal spread, it is unclear how long it can survive outside the body.
“Viruses such as HIV and herpes die quickly from inanimate objects – that’s why we say you can’t catch herpes from toilet seats – but we don’t know how long or how short a time this virus could live,” Dr. Said Crane.
More than 75,700 people worldwide have been infected with coronavirus and 2,100 people have died.
There are 15 confirmed cases in the US with a separately confirmed case aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.