Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak is the third recognised case of infection of an animal coronavirus to humans in the 21st century with the first two being SARS and MERS. One of the major environmental transmission route for coronavirus is the person-to-person faecal droplet-respiratory transmission route. In order to better evaluate the hazards posed by this exposure pathway, there is the need for more information on the survival and persistence of coronavirus in water and sewage. This review collates information from research on transmission and stability of coronavirus in natural, wastewater and sewage. Factors that can influence virus survival in water include temperature, organic matter, and aerobic microorganisms. Our review reflects that the potential for long-term survival of coronavirus coupled with airborne faecal droplet transmission could be a major health risk in this pandemic. Water or sewage contaminated with coronavirus can become aerosolized exposing a major chunk of populace to infection in spite of quarantine measures being followed.
Smriti Sharma* and Vinayak Bhatia