A Japanese study has confirmed the presence of coronavirus in waste water. Researchers from Toyama Prefectural University, Kanazawa University and Kyoto University tested water at four treatment plants in western Japan and found seven of 27 samples positive for the virus, according to a preprint of the study.
“Sewage testing is used as an early warning system to alert people about (possibly unnoticed ongoing community transmission,” Yuki Furuse, a Kyoto University professor who wasn’t directly involved in the trial told media.
Studies in Australia, the US and Europe have reported similar findings.
Flushed toilets produce clouds of virus-containing particles
Computer models developed by a trio of researchers in China suggest flushing a toilet can produce a cloud of virus-containing aerosol droplets.
Several studies have shown that COVID-19 particles persist in the stool of infected patients, whether or not the patients present with gastrointestinal symptoms.
The latest research, published Tuesday in the journal Physics of Fluids, suggests that if coronavirus particles can find their way into toilets, flushing can aerosolize them.