Could public restrooms be a potential COVID safety concern due to the virus being able to linger in the gut for up to 45 days?
The Doctors welcome gastroenterologist and gut health specialist Dr. Sabine Hazan to weigh in. She explains COVID may be able to linger in someone's digestive system even after they recover from the virus, but says it is too early to know if it is still transmissible via the gut and stool.
She raises a concern about people who have recovered from the virus and then return to work and their co-workers end up testing positive for COVID. She questions if using a public restroom could be a risk factor due to the potential for the virus to become airborne via stool.
The Doctors ask Dr. Hazan how people can help maintain a healthy microbiome, which she says helps with the body's immunity. According to the gastroenterologist, people should not drink excessive amounts of coffee, carry extra body weight, and ensure they are getting enough Vitamin D.
The Doctors note that the CDC says there have been no confirmed reports of the virus being spread via feces, stating, "The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the virus found in feces may be capable of causing COVID-19. There has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from feces to a person. Scientists also do not know how much risk there is that the virus could be spread from the feces of an infected person to another person. However, they think this risk is low based on data from previous outbreaks of diseases caused by related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)."