There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 due to contact with the faeces of an infected individual and the WHO states that risk of faecal-oral transmission of COVID-19 is low. Prevention of transmission from respiratory droplets from person to person and via surfaces should be the priority. However, human waste is hazardous and can contain numerous pathogens so should be safely managed in all settings.
In order for transmission via faeces to occur, humans must shed the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in their faeces. Other factors that influence the likelihood of faecal-oral transmission include environmental persistence, the amount of infectious virus shed in faeces, and the infectious dose.
Want to know more about faecal-oral transmission of COVID-19?
- What is faecal-oral transmission?
- Can transmission occur via aerosolized faeces?
- How long can SARS-CoV-2 persist in the environment?
- Amount of infectious virus shed in faeces and infectious dose
- Has SARS-CoV-2 been detected in human faeces?
- How do we detect COVID-19 in human faeces?
- How do we conduct surveillance for COVID-19 in wastewater and sludge?
- If COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, why would it be detected in faeces?
- Are there special considerations for sanitation and COVID-19?
- Do sanitation workers need to take special precautions while handling faecal waste?
- Do sanitation workers face other risks that require preventative actions?
- Can water sources be contaminated with SARS-Cov-2?
- Guidance for water treatment
- Water quantity
Author: Jackie Knee