Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in Aerosolized Wastewater: Toilet Flushing, Wastewater Treatment, and Sprinkler Irrigation

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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
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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