Doctors have made the foul discovery that farting could spread the Covid-19 disease – unless infected people wear pants which can protect this from happening.
The deadly coronavirus bug could be spreading across the globe through farts, according to doctors.
Tests carried out earlier this year have shown that the virus was present in the faeces of more than half of patients with Covid-19.
And doctors have previously warned farts contain tiny poo particles that can spread bacteria.
They said more research needed to be done to rule out passing the disease on to people through omitting bodily gasses.
TV doctor Xander Van Tulleken, who presented CBBC series Operation Ouch as well as appearing on a string of documentaries, raised the issue on social media.
He highlighted work by Australian doctor Andy Tagg which he called “an enjoyable thread about whether farting can cause coronavirus”.
In his findings Dr Tagg cited tests carried out earlier this year which showed 55% of patients with SARS-CoV-2 had it present in their poo.
He said: “Well, SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in faeces and has been detected in an asymptomatic individual up to 17 days post-exposure.”
The doctor added that previous tests have shown farts have the power to spray talcolm powder long distances.
In 2001 Australian doctor Karl Kruszelnicki and microbiologist Luke Tennent carried out an experiment to see if farts could spread disease.
Dr Tennent asked a colleague to pass wind directly into two Petri dishes from a distance of five centimeters – first while wearing pants, and then without.
He found that the first Petri dish stayed clean, while the second one sprouted bacteria overnight, but added the bacteria found in the test was not harmful.
Earlier this year China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that pants should be an effective barrier against farts that might carry the novel coronavirus. It said that farts are unlikely to transmit the virus provided pants are worn.
It warned, however, that if the infected patient was not wearing pants, and they released a large amount of gas, then someone else – if they took a close sniff at the gas – could be at risk.
Dr Tagg added: “Perhaps SARS-CoV-2 can be spread through the power of parping – we need more evidence.
“So remember to wear appropriate PPE at all times and stay safe!”