Closing The Toilet Lid Before Flushing Prevent COVID-19? Study Answers

People who use shared toilets need to read this study. The information given here can help them prevent the deadly coronavirus.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Jun 19, 2020 10:48 IST
Closing The Toilet Lid Before Flushing Prevent COVID-19? Study Answers

Coronavirus has taught us the importance of hygiene. We overlooked the fact that most infections and viruses are caused due to poor hygiene. These days, we are behaving extra cautious with washing hands often, keeping the surroundings clean, maintaining social distance, adapting healthy and clean eating habits, etc. Having this done before, we would not have been facing this scary pandemic situation. But better late than never. While we are following all the precautions to avoid COVID-19 given until now, there is a new addition to it. Researchers have found that closing the lid before flushing the pot can reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. It sounds weird but this can be of great help in households where someone shows symptoms of COVID-19.

At this point in time, prevention is the only cure. Since neither we have any vaccine for this pandemic nor any medicinal cure, the only solution is a precaution. Follow all the tips and guidelines for coronavirus prevention to stay safe and sound. Remember, your family’s health too depends on your act. For families with shared bathrooms, here is important news for you. A study has claimed that keeping the lid closed of an English toilet while flushing can reduce the risk of virus transmission. 

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How does closing the toilet lid prevent Coronavirus?

The journal ‘Gastroenterology’ published a study sometime back stating that some traces of Coronavirus may also be present in the stool of the infected person. It was found that the virus remained in the stool after it got cleared from the respiratory tract. Another study from ‘Lancet’ journal quotes an example of a person who recovered from this illness but traces of the virus were found in his faeces even after a month! This makes shared toilets potential carriers of the virus to infect healthy people. Various researchers from different countries have marked their opinions on this. Mind that your shoes may also contain this virus if you went outside. 

The Washington Post cited a study that shows that while flushing, the aerosol particles with Coronavirus get spread in the air. These can linger in the air for long periods and when someone enters the toilet, these may get inhaled by the person. Co-author of this study Ji-Xiang Wang who is a research fellow at Yangzhou University, China said: “Flushing will lift the virus up from the toilet bowl. Bathroom users need to close the lid first and then trigger the flushing process and wash hands properly if the closure is not possible.”

There are a lot of studies that claim airborne diseases to have spread through sewage or toilet plume(aerosols of virus lingering on the objects of the toilet). Scientists have also found bacterial traces on the bathroom floor, toilet seat, handles, knobs, etc. This is why we are always advised to wash our hands after using the toilet.

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The Proof

The virus lives in the faeces for a longer period is believed to be true as some Coronavirus-positive people not experience breathing issues but vomiting and diarrhea. This shows the presence of the virus in the stomach.

The air samples taken from hospitals in Wuhan, China(from where the epidemic started) shows that the coronavirus-containing aerosols were low in isolation wards but high in toilets. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that “it is unclear whether the virus found in faeces may be capable of causing COVID-19,” and “there has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from faeces to a person”.

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