Potential spreading risks and disinfection challenges of medical wastewater by the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (sars-cov-2) viral rna in septic tanks of Fangcang hospital
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The outbreak of coronavirus infectious disease-2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia raises the concerns of effective deactivation of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in medical wastewater by disinfectants. In this study, we evaluated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in septic tanks of Wuchang Cabin Hospital and found a striking high level of (0.5–18.7) × 103 copies/L after disinfection with sodium hypochlorite. Embedded viruses in stool particles might be released in septic tanks, behaving as a secondary source of SARSCoV-2 and potentially contributing to its spread through drainage pipelines. Current recommended disinfection strategy (free chlorine ≥0.5 mg/L after at least 30 min suggested by World Health Organization; free chlorine above 6.5 mg/L after 1.5-h contact by China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) needs to be reevaluated to completely remove SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in non-centralized disinfection system and effectively deactivate SARS-CoV-2. The effluents showed negative results for SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA when overdosed with sodium hypochlorite but had high a level of disinfection by-product residuals, possessing significant ecological risks.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140445
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