#CanOrNot?: Can You Get Coronavirus From Smelling an Infected Person's Fart?

#CanOrNot?: Can You Get Coronavirus From Smelling an Infected Person's Fart?

Can a fart be this lethal? Read on to find out.

From fake cures to misinformation about the coronavirus — if there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it is to fact check everything before sharing it on our chat groups, lest it causes unnecessary widespread panic. One recent viral post has suggested that transmission of coronavirus from smelling an infected person’s fart can happen, deriving from research which showed that faeces and urine can transmit the infection.

#CanOrNot?: Can You Get Coronavirus From Smelling an Infected Person's Fart?

Coronavirus From Smelling Farts? Is it possible? | Image source: iStock

Australian news site, News.com.au also shared a podcast by a popular physician discussing the topic, where he said: “People should avoid farting near one another to stop the spread of coronavirus. It is everyone’s responsibility not to pass wind close to another person and that you don’t fart with your bottom bare.”

He continued, “We wear a mask that covers our farts all the time,” indicating that our clothes already provide some form of protection, much like how face masks prevent coronavirus transmission through respiratory fluids.

Australian doctor Andy Tagg cited that farts have the power to spray talcum powder long distances, suggesting that “perhaps SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can be spread through the power of parping”. However, he stressed the need for “more evidence.”

Earlier this year, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of Tongzhou district in Beijing clarified that COVID-19 is not normally transmitted through farts unless someone takes a good sniff of gas from a bottomless patient. Which, we’re guessing, isn’t something that happens on the regular.

Additionally, Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of Patientaccess.com told The Sun, “The likelihood of someone catching the virus because they were close to someone who farted is really tiny.”

But has advised people to maintain good toilet hygiene. She added, “There have been some reports of coronavirus being present in poo, and of up to one in ten patients developing diarrhoea a day or two before they get other symptoms such as cough and fever.

“This does underline the importance of being extra-careful about cleaning the bathroom if one person has symptoms of coronavirus.”

Fart experiment: Can You Get Coronavirus From Smelling an Infected Person’s Fart?

Coronavirus From Smelling

Image: iStock

While the possibility of getting infected by COVID-19 through inhaling someone else’s gas in public is minute, farts have been shown to spread bacteria.

Back in 2001, Austalian doctor Karl Kruszelnicki and microbiologist Luke Tennent carried out an experiment where one of Tennent’s colleague farted into two Petri dishes from a distance of five centimetres to see if farts could spread diseases — the first dish was while wearing pants, and the second was bottomless.

The first Petri dish remained clean, while the second dish started sprouting bacteria overnight.

Kruszelnicki concluded: “It seems, therefore, that flatus can cause infection if the emitter is naked, but not if he or she is clothed.” However, the experiment did not dive into the kinds of diseases that could be spread via farts.

To play it safe however, we should always close toilet lids before we flush to reduce the spread of droplets, and remember to wash our hands regularly.

And with the circuit breaker implementations, as long as we stay home and mask up when we leave our homes, we should be able to keep the virus at bay.

This post was first published on AsiaOne and was republished on theAsianparent with permission.

ALSO READ: Avoid Bringing COVID-19 Home With This Doctor’s Comprehensive Checklist

#CanOrNot?: Can You Get Coronavirus From Smelling an Infected Person's Fart?

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