Home » News » Buzz » Can Coronavirus Spread Through Farts? Here's What Science Says

Can Coronavirus Spread Through Farts? Here's What Science Says

By: Raka Mukherjee


Last Updated: April 25, 2020, 14:29 IST

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Dr. Andy Tagg who is the lead researcher a study checks if farts, like faeces, contain aerosol particles which can possibly transmit and act as a carrier of the disease.

As the coronavirus pandemic grips the world, with over 2.79 million confirmed cases worldwide, millions are staying home to slow the spreading rate of the virus.

The virus has turned the world into germaphobes - washing your hands for twenty seconds, wearing a mask, sanitizing your essentials, sanizing goods, making sure your laundry is coronavirus-free, and drastically reducing human-to-human touch, people are often left wondering, how else can you catch coronavirus?

Other than respiratory droplets which spread through sneezing and coughing, asymptomatic also spread the virus through things like talking and aeresols - and people have to wonder, can coronavirus spreading through farting?

The answer to the question of whether coronavirus can spread through flatulence, is complicated.

Whether coronavirus can spread simply through air, is still very uncertain. In as early as February, residents of a Hong Kong apartment block were partially evacuated residents over fears the coronavirus may have been transmitted via the building's pipes.

While the investigation into the building is still on-going, Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection has advised the public to maintain drainage pipes by regularly pouring water into drain outlets -- the U-pipes -- and to put the toilet lid down before flushing "to avoid spreading germs."

So if it can potentially spread from faecal matter - can it also spread from flatulence?

An Australian doctor has posted a example of just how far farts can travel, much farther than our usual social-distancing norm standards.

It has also been found in faecal matter of asymptomatic patients.

Dr. Andy Tagg is the lead researcher on the study to check if that farts, like faeces, contain aerosol particles which can possibly transmit and act as a carrier of the disease.

Tagg's conclusion is also indefinite - there is no conclusive evidence to suggest a definite yes.

But the lack of a definite yes, doesn't automatically mean a definite no.

Dr. Aaron E. Glatt ,an epidemiologist told The New York Post that "Studies have clearly shown that a significant percentage of COVID-19 patients do have GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms (alone, or in combination with respiratory or other general symptoms) at the time of illness presentation.

top videos

    "However, there are no published data on whether flatulence alone presents any risk of transmission, although in a clothed person, it would be unlikely to be a significant route of transmission," he added.

    So the solution isn't to suppress your farts for fear of spreading coronavirus, the solution is to wear pants. Underwear or even a simple layer of clothing covering your bottom reduces risk of transmission. The same way face-masks prevent the entering of aerosols, there has always been a cover for your butt: Pants.

    first published:April 25, 2020, 14:29 IST
    last updated:April 25, 2020, 14:29 IST