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Reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through ventilation and management of patients’ bodily fluids

The French High Council for Public Health (Haut Conseil de la santé publique, HCSP) has analysed the risks of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through ventilation in residential and healthcare buildings. There are no studies demonstrating long-distance airborne transmission of the virus among humans. The HCSP recommends measures such as opening windows and checking that ventilation systems are working properly. It is recommended that home-based patients stay in a single room. In its statement, the HCSP outlines guidance for ventilating this room. For hospitals and nursing homes, recommendations are given according to whether patients are in a standard room, one equipped with positive pressure ventilation or negative pressure ventilation.

The HCSP has also analysed the management of patients’ bodily fluids. SARS-CoV-2 may be eliminated via the stools and bodily fluids towards the sewerage and drainage network but the infectivity of the virus contained in the stools is poorly characterised. Human coronoviruses, SARS-CoV among them, can be effectively inactivated with bleach or another virucidal disinfectant. For use in the home as well as in health facilities and nursing homes, the HCSP has set out a procedure for cleaning toilets and measures for protecting the different people working in connection with wastewater sanitation networks.

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