A Gaseous Killer
Three medical experts have weighed in on the possibility that flatulence could be a silent, gaseous killer during the pandemic.
Dr. Swan Says When Going Out in Public You Should Wear Clothes
On April 17, on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s podcast, “Coronacast”, producer and host, Dr. Norman Swan was asked whether flatulence can carry the deadly disease airborne and infect others.
Dr. Swan answered in the affirmative, issuing a warning that no one should be “bare-bottom farting” near each other since particles of feces can be set adrift within flatulence and spread COVID-19.
“Luckily, we wear a mask, which covers our farts all the time,” Dr. Swan said, referring to pants, shorts, dresses, underwear and other garments. “I think that what we should do in terms of social distancing and being safe is that … you don’t fart close to other people, and that you don’t fart with your bottom bare.”
This seems to be very sensible advice even if there was no risk of coronavirus infection.
Dr. Tagg Agrees
Dr. Andy Tagg, an Australian ER physician, shared additional information about flatulence and coronavirus in a “tweetorial” on Twitter.
He asked, “So, can the bottom-based emissions of someone with coronavirus be silent and deadly?”
He answered that the COVID-19 virus might be spread through flatulence since it an “aerosol-generating procedure.”
Like Dr. Swan, Dr. Tagg proposes that people keep their pants on and by all means wear underwear whenever they flatulate in public or near others at home and that pants and underwear should be considered part of a person’s personal protective equipment [PPI].
“Perhaps SARS-CoV-2 can be spread [through] the power of parping — we need more evidence,” he tweeted, adding, “So remember to wear appropriate PPE at all times and stay safe!”
Dr. Glatt Considers Underwear Akin to Face Mask but for Different Part of the Body
Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, a Mount Sinai South Nassau epidemiologist and professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, wrote an email to The New York Post, to offer his view of the matter.
He also feels that wearing clothing will be a safeguard against flatulence spread of coronavirus, much like a face mask protects others from coughs and sneezes.
“Studies have clearly shown that a significant percentage of COVID-19 patients do have GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms (alone, or in combination with respiratory or other general symptoms) at the time of illness presentation. However, there are no published data on whether flatulence alone presents any risk of transmission, although in a clothed person, it would be unlikely to be a significant route of transmission.”
Scientists Says ‘Don’t Lick Feces With Your Tongue’
The Center for Disease Control says that diseases can be spread in many ways: germs enter the body through the mouth, eyes, genitals, nose, broken skin, and respiratory tract as well as sexual contact, feces, and through food and water.
A recent study suggested that even post-flush toilet emissions going airborne can spread coronavirus via “aerosolized feces.”
Scientists confirmed that fecal-oral transmission is an issue due to the presence of the virus in feces.
Health officials in Oregon and New York caution against oral contact with feces during sex.
Sweat Can Also Be a Problem
Dr. Swan also warned that the virus can be spread through sweat and encouraged people to keep their distance when in areas populated by joggers.
Fecal Transmission Possible
Diarrhea may be a secondary path of transmission for the novel coronavirus, scientists said.
The primary path is believed to be virus-laden droplets from an infected person’s cough, though researchers say they focused on patients with respiratory symptoms and may have overlooked those linked to the digestive tract.
“Importantly, 2019-nCoV has been reported elsewhere in the feces of patients with atypical abdominal symptoms, similar to SARS which was also shed in urine, suggesting a fecal transmission route which is highly transmissible,” William Keevil, a professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton, said in the UK’s Science Media Centre.
A Sad Case
Reportedly, and we have not confirmed this, and it is entirely anecdotal, and told to us by someone who is not an entirely reliable source, but a woman was said to be a super-spreader of coronavirus, primarily through her gastrointestinal disorders.
She was largely asymptomatic and was in the habit of wearing short skirts without underwear.
Dr. Fletcher G. Flatus of Mineola, New York, examined her.
According to an unverified report, he asked her about her experiences with gastrointestinal discomfort and tested her and found she had coronavirus.
“Yes,” she told Dr. Flatus, “when I went to the supermarket I had a bad case of gas and I could not control my farting. I farted about seven times silently. I did not know I was spreading disease. I am mortified to learn this.
“Then when I went to the drug store, I farted another six times, quite silently. I gave no warning as it erupted suddenly and silently and I was within a few feet of the cashier. But he had no way of knowing since they were completely silent so he could not protect himself.
“Even while here with you doctor, I have farted silently four times. What do you think I should do?”
Dr. Flatus said, “Well the first thing we should do is get you a hearing aid.”
Please remember to wear your PPIs at all times when in public.