Coronavirus could be spreading through farts, a doctor has claimed.
Australian doctor Andy Tagg came up with the bizarre claim after analysing the results of a series of tests on COVID-19 patients.
He claims there is a chance that the virus can be passed on via the bodily gas.
Dr Tagg said the virus was present in the faeces of 55% of coronavirus patients.
He then said that farts could contain tiny poo particles that may spread the disease.
The doctor wrote in a report: "Well, SARS-CoV-2 [coronavirus] can be detected in faeces and has been detected in an asymptomatic individual up to 17 days post-exposure."
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He cited earlier tests that have shown farts are able to spray talcum powder long distances.
Dr Tagg added: "Perhaps SARS-CoV-2 can be spread through the power of parping – we need more evidence."
He then issued instructions to wear "appropriate PPE at all times" and stay safe.
Back in the early 2000s, a study was carried out into the possibility of farts spreading diseases.
A doctor asked a colleague to pass wind on Petri dishes from a distance of 5cm.
First while wearing pants and then without.
Perhaps it can be spread through the power of parping.
The first dish remained clean overnight, while the other sprouted bacteria.
China previously warned that if an infected patient farted excessively while not wearing underwear, and someone close by inhaled the gas, they could be at risk.
The claims have, however, been debunked by experts.
Dr Sarah Jarvis told The Sun it's very unlikely Brits can catch coronavirus through farts.
She said: "The likelihood of someone catching the virus because they were close to someone who farted is really tiny."
"You are way, way more likely to catch it by being in close contact with someone who coughs or sneezes, or by picking up droplets (from coughs or sneezes) on your hands when you touch a hard surface," she added.
Element of truth
However, she did say there could be an element of truth to the claims.
Dr Jarvis urged people to maintain good toilet hygiene. She also pointed to a new symptom that's sometimes evident before a cough or fever starts.
She said: "There have been some reports of coronavirus being present in poo, and of up to one in ten patients developing diarrhoea a day or two before they get other symptoms such as cough and fever."
Dr Jarvis said it underlined the importance of being careful when cleaning the bathroom if anyone in your house has symptoms of coronavirus.
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