Article | April 21, 2020

You Shouldn't Splash That S**t Around

Jim Lauria

By Jim Lauria

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The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought a wide range of health issues into sharp focus, including the spread of pathogens through aerosols, tiny droplets of liquid that can hang in the air for minutes or even hours.

When Chinese scientists announced in February that RNA from the novel coronavirus was present in feces — findings later corroborated by research conducted in the U.S. — and could be transmitted through a fecal-oral route, scientists recognized a new and terrifying mode of contagion. Similarly, the novel coronavirus has been detected in wastewater in The Netherlands, and American scientists are observing the virus' RNA in tests of raw sewage across the country.

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