It’s re­ally an open and shut case

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFESTYLE - Sa­man­tha Lock The Sun

FLUSHING the toi­let could help spread the deadly coro­n­avirus by blast­ing long-last­ing clouds of par­ti­cles up into the air, a new study warns.

Re­cent stud­ies have shown the virus, which has killed more than 430,000 peo­ple world­wide, sur­vives in the di­ges­tive sys­tem and can show up in hu­man fae­ces.

Study co-au­thor ji-Xiang Wang, of Yangzhou Univer­sity in China, said: “One can fore­see that the ve­loc­ity will be even higher when a toi­let is used fre­quently, such as in the case of a fam­ily toi­let dur­ing a busy time or a pub­lic toi­let serv­ing a densely pop­u­lated area.”

Flushing a toi­let cre­ates turbulence in the wa­ter and air, which is known to spread bac­te­ria and viruses, say the find­ings pub­lished in the jour­nal Physics of Flu­ids.

Wang said: “A so­lu­tion to this deadly prob­lem is to sim­ply close the lid be­fore flushing, since this should de­crease aerosol spread.”

Pub­lic toi­lets in many coun­tries, how­ever, are of­ten with­out a lid or cover.

The re­searchers hope the find­ings could prompt a bet­ter toi­let de­sign, with a lid that closes au­to­mat­i­cally be­fore flushing.

Pic­ture: iS­tock

GERM WARFARE: Close the lid on the loo be­fore you flush.

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