Exposure to sars-cov-2 in aerosolized wastewater: Toilet flushing, wastewater treatment, and sprinkler irrigation

Muhammad Usman*, Muhammad Farooq, Ioannis Anastopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The existence of SARS-CoV-2, the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in wastewater raises the opportunity of tracking wastewater for epidemiological monitoring of this disease. However, the existence of this virus in wastewater has raised health concerns regarding the fecal–oral transmission of COVID-19. This short review is intended to highlight the potential implications of aerosolized wastewater in transmitting this virus. As aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 could offer a more direct respiratory pathway for human exposure, the transmission of this virus remains a significant possibility in the prominent wastewater-associated bioaerosols formed during toilet flushing, wastewater treatment, and sprinkler irrigation. Implementing wastewater disinfection, exercising precautions, and raising public awareness would be essential. Additional research is needed to evaluate the survival, fate, and dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater and the environment and rapid characterization of aerosols and their risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number436
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2021

Keywords

  • Aerosolized wastewater
  • Agriculture
  • Bioaerosol
  • COVID-19
  • Environmental transmission
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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