COVID-19 And Surfaces: Are The Beaches And Pool Safe?
It was only the time of the new year, back in December 2019, and we didn't care much about the cough and illness or the flu that most of us usually catches. Little did we know that an outbreak of respiratory illness was setting up its reach across the entire globe. As we entered 2020, one by one, the COVID-19 entered, in almost all the countries leaving nothing but havoc all around. And by the end of January, we knew we were and are in a state of war with an unseen enemy as WHO (World Health Organization) declared coronavirus as a public health emergency.
Since then, questions like what is coronavirus, what are coronavirus symptoms, can coronavirus spread through water, and many other questions about covid19 have taken the world by storm. When the coronavirus first attacked an unarmed world, the death toll took a sudden rise, giving rise to a panicking population.
The deadly virus still is taking over the world at an alarming rate. Our health care systems were caught drowning as the cause and ailment of the virus were undiscovered yet. The only thing that could save a healthy population from the highly contagious virus was a complete lockdown to restrict the coronavirus symptoms.
It's the month of May and the world is still quarantined. The countries that have decided to open up are still under the blanket of vigilance against coronavirus. With no developed vaccine to fight with coronavirus, the only possible way to stop the reach of the virus is by practicing social distancing and taking all precautionary measures as ordered by the local authorities and government.
The transition out of lockdown is set to be a complicated and unstable phase. Challenges and circumstances are varying from country to country, and there is no one size fits all approach to fight with the virus.
It all started with some mild fever, cold and headache, and turned into severe pneumonia and breakdown of the immune system. This is what coronavirus exactly does to the body. It spreads from person to person by means of respiratory droplets which are released when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or comes in contact with other persons.
Isolating the healthy population from the infected population is crucially important because coronavirus is an airborne disease.
What is Coronavirus?
What is coronavirus is the question everyone is looking answers for. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a highly contagious and infectious disease that is caused by a coronavirus that has never been previously found in humans before.
Coronavirus symptoms include mild respiratory complications and will not be able to recover without special treatment. Those who have other health issues like diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, or cardiovascular disease are more likely to develop the coronavirus. The best way one can protect themselves is by washing your hands periodically or making use of an alcohol-based rub frequently and by not touching your face.
Not just by contact, the coronavirus can also spread if the infected person touches a surface, that is why isolation is also a precautionary measure to slow down the outbreak. If a healthy person comes in contact with the surface having coronavirus, there are huge chances that the healthy person will end up having the deadly virus. Here's are some important facts about coronavirus and surfaces that you must know:
Coronavirus and Surfaces
According to the results given by new research, Coronavirus can stay up to three days on surfaces like plastic and steel. The virus lives the longest on plastic and steel. But the virus can survive in the air for an extended period of time, which must take into knowledge for medical workers. The risk of the spread of the virus from surfaces is still low. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that the virus deteriorates within a day on the surface of the cardboard.
When the coronavirus is released in the air in the form of droplets less than 5 micrometers, known as aerosols. According to the researchers, it can survive in the air for about half an hour, before it lays down on some surface and can linger there for hours. On cardboard, the virus can survive for at least one day, implying the packages that are being delivered have low levels of the virus. The risk of getting infected by a surface is much lower than getting infected by contact.
Can coronavirus spread through water?- Water and COVID-19 facts
Until now, there is no evidence that the coronavirus can survive in drinking water or sewage, says WHO. The only main route of transmission of coronavirus is by means of the respiratory tract or by contact. As an enveloped virus, coronavirus is less stable in the atmosphere and is 'none vigorous'. It is in fact, more susceptible to oxidants such as chlorine.
According to the center for disease control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus has not been observed in drinking water. The organization further added that conventional, centralized water treatment methods that make use of the practices of filtration and disinfection shout inactivate the coronavirus. In case, if centralized treatment isn't available, household water treatment techniques which include boiling, or making use of ultrafiltration or nanotechnology filters should be used to make the water germ free.
Can the Coronavirus Spread through Beaches and Pools?
According to the Centres for disease control and prevention (CDC), there is no certain answer to the question ‘can coronavirus spread through water’ or can spread by means of pools, hot tubs, spas, water play areas, or beaches. Other than that, proper operation and maintenance of water by disinfecting with chlorine and bromine bodies is a must and should also deactivate the coronavirus or any other bacteria present in the water.
Due to the ongoing community spread of the coronavirus symptoms, it is very essential to take all the precautionary measures. To slow down the spread of coronavirus, it is necessary that both individuals and owners or operators must take care of maintaining hygiene. Organizations and individuals must take steps to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
The primary step to protect oneself from COVID-19 is by following all the guidelines provided by the local and central authorities of their countries. These guidelines may determine how and when recreational water facilities may be operated.
By practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene, an individual can protect themselves as well as the people around them. At recreational water revenues both in and out of the water, it is important to maintain hygiene.
Ensuring water safety and quality is vitally important to slow down the speed of the spread of the virus. Owners and operators of community pools, hot tubs, spas, and water play areas must follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers in order to clean and disinfect their community facilities and maintain hygiene.
Coronavirus and Sewage Systems
Coronavirus has been found in untreated wastewater, which means maintaining water hygiene is crucially important. But there is no evidence that if a person is exposed to untreated wastewater or sewage systems, they can catch the virus or not. But according to the researchers, the risk of the spread of the coronavirus symptoms can be reduced, if the sewage systems are properly designed and maintained. According to the study performed by researchers at CDC, standard municipal and individual septic system wastewater treatment practices should inactivate the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19.
A similar virus, SARS, that causes coronavirus has been found in untreated sewage for up to 2 to 14 days. Also, during the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was a documented transmission related to sewage aerosols. According to the data, the standard municipal wastewater system chlorination practices are a suitable way to inactivate coronavirus, only unless utilities monitor free available chlorine throughout treatment to make sure it has not been drained.
Wastewater and sewage workers should take all the precautionary measures for prevention. They must ensure their safety by making use of personal protective equipment ( PPE ) or by practicing basic hygiene.
For now, there is no specific vaccine available for the treatment of coronavirus disease. Nonetheless, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. The only way to protect yourself from the virus unless the vaccine isn't formulated is by following the guidelines provided by the local authorities and by maintaining personal hygiene.
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