What is a toilet plume? And what does it mean for me?

Infection and Spread

A: A toilet plume occurs when droplets of feces or urine escape during a toilet flush into the air. COVID-19 may spread through fecal-oral transmission, which means you don’t want any part of that toilet plume. One study estimates that a single open flush can emit up to 80,000 droplets into the air. Covering the toilet with a lid before you flush can reduce that substantially.

BOTTOM LINE: Cover the lid before you flush. You may also want to reconsider the placement of your toothbrush. And, keep up the hand washing. Finally, wait a few minutes before entering a bathroom that has just been used. If you share a household with someone who is COVID-19 positive, a more thorough cleaning is necessary.


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