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Scientists Tackle Most Important Question During Pandemic: Can Virus Be Spread Through Our Farts?

Yuttana Jaowattana / EyeEm via Getty Images

At a time when so much is still uncertain, we don't know what actions are safe anymore.

Is breathing safe? Is going to the grocery store safe? Can we even fart in the privacy of our own homes?

Well, lucky for us, scientists are working around the clock to determine these important factors.

Dr. Norman Swan, on an Australian podcast that is meant to keep the world up to date on the virus, suggested that particles of fecal matter rolling around in human flatulence could be unwittingly spreading the virus.


"Luckily, we wear a mask, which covers our farts all the time," Swan said, referring to pants.

"I think that what we should do in terms of social distancing and being safe is that … you don't fart close to other people, and that you don't fart with your bottom bare."

Though, there is not necessarily a great deal of research that supports flatulence spreading the virus.

"Studies have clearly shown that a significant percentage of...patients do have GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms (alone, or in combination with respiratory or other general symptoms) at the time of illness presentation," said Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, Mount Sinai South Nassau epidemiologist.

"However, there are no published data on whether flatulence alone presents any risk of transmission, although in a clothed person, it would be unlikely to be a significant route of transmission."

So, while the risk of flatulence-based transmission is low, it's definitely still a thing.

Those of you in lockdown with your spouses, you know who to blame if you fall ill.