A new study has revealed that flushing a toilet can potentially infect the next bathroom user.
"Aerosol droplets forced upward by a flush appear to spread wide enough and linger long enough to be inhaled," according to researchers at China's Yangzhou University, who published their findings in the Journal of Fluids, Reported Washington Post.
The novel coronavirus has been found in the feces of Covid-19 patients, but it remains unknown whether such clouds could contain enough virus to infect a person.
The researchers show how the water from a flushed toilet could spray up into the air as high as three feet, reported New York Daily News.
"University found that fecal samples from some confirmed patients tested positive by nucleic acid detection, which provides evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has the possibility of fecal–oral transmission," the study states.
People who use public washrooms or "family bathrooms" are believed to be at greatest risk. Toilet water particles can travel nearly 3½ feet into the air and "cause large area spread," according to the study, which recommends those who use a shared commode close the lid before flushing.
Keeping toilet seats clean can reportedly limit transmission as washing hands.
Researchers also suggest "a new design of waterless toilets could suppress the transmission of pathogens."