Could farts transmit COVID-19?

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 02:46 PM(IST)

A volunteer holds a placard to raise awareness about the coronavirus on a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Chennai on April 8, 2020 Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The takeaway is: wear pants, fart safe!

Turns out, farts are capable of spreading the novel coronavirus, which continues to kill thousands globally everyday.

The virus was discovered in the faeces of more than 50 per cent patients who tested positive for coronavirus.

Ample preexisting research suggests that farts carry tiny particles that are capable of spreading bacteria.

Even though, like all things coronavirus, more research is needed to ascertain the intensity of such infections.

Also read: UK set to test if COVID-19 survivours' blood plasma can be used for treatment

An Australian doctor, Dr Andy Tagg carried out tests on COVID-19 patients and found that 55 per cent of them had the virus present in their stool.

Additionally, it is now well established that asymptomatic carriers may be spreading the disease more than previously thought, making it harder to trace and diagnose.


The doctor further added that farts are capable of spreading the gaseous bacteria over long distances.

In 2001, two Australian researchers Karl Kruszelnicki and Luke Tennent undertook a research to find out whether farts are capable of spreading diseases.

As part of this, Dr Tennent made a colleague fart into two Petri dishes from five centimetres away. One while wearing pants, and the other without.

Also read: WHO-recommended disinfectants effective against COVID-19, says study

In the dish which received the spray through the filter of the pants, there was no bacteria growth. However, the other dish had birthed bacteria overnight. Even then, they found that none of this bacteria was harmful.


In the beginning of 2020, when coronavirus was just starting out in the world, the Chinese Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s wing in Tongzhou district announced that pants act as an effective barrier against farts that carry the novel coronavirus. It further added that farts will not spread the virus if pants are worn.

China’s CDC warned that people who carry the virus and fart without pants on, or if they fart in large amounts, could potentially put others at risk.

So the takeaway is: wear pants, fart safe!

Read in App