According to the research, traces of SARS-CoV-2 were detected on the sink, faucet and shower handle of a long-vacant apartment situated near the apartment of the family mentioned above. The contaminated bathroom was located directly above the home of five people confirmed a week earlier to have COVID-19. The study was carried out by researchers at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The scientists conducted what they described as an “on-site tracer simulation experiment” to see whether the virus could be spread through waste pipes via tiny airborne particles created by the force of a toilet flushing.
This means that bathrooms could be a key breeding ground for coronavirus transmission, because they “may promote fecal-derived aerosol transmission if used improperly, particularly in hospitals,” the China CDC researchers said. They cited a fluid-dynamics simulation that showed a “massive upward transport of virus aerosol particles” during flushing. This creates a “fecal plume” that could be particularly infectious.