Coronavirus im Whirlpool-Wasser

Hier im Anhang finden Sie einen aktuellen Bericht der WHO (World Health Organisation) über das Verhalten des Coronavirus im Wasser.
Wenn Trinkwasser oder Badewasser mit einem Gehalt an freiem Chlor von mindestens 0.5ppm versetzt ist, wird das Coronavirus abgetötet. Korrekt gepflegtes Whirlpool-Wasser birgt somit kein Risiko, das Coronavirus zu verbreiten.

(Bericht WHO vom 19.März 2020 «Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus»)

Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management
for the COVID-19 virus
Interim guidance
19 March 2020
This interim guidance supplements the infection prevention
and control (IPC) documents by summarizing
WHO guidance on water, sanitation and health care waste
relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses. It is intended for
water and sanitation practitioners and providers and health
care providers who want to know more about water,
sanitation and hygiene (WASH) risks and practices.
The provision of safe water, sanitation, and hygienic
conditions is essential to protecting human health during all
infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19
outbreak. Ensuring good and consistently applied WASH and
waste management practices in communities, homes, schools,
marketplaces, and health care facilities will help prevent
human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
The most important information concerning WASH and the
COVID-19 virus is summarized here.
 Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most
important measures that can be used to prevent
infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH
practitioners should work to enable more frequent
and regular hand hygiene by improving facilities
and using proven behavior-change techniques.
 WHO guidance on the safe management of
drinking-water and sanitation services applies to the
COVID-19 outbreak. Extra measures are not needed.
Disinfection will facilitate more rapid die-off of the
COVID-19 virus.
 Many co-benefits will be realized by safely
managing water and sanitation services and
applying good hygiene practices.
Currently, there is no evidence about the survival of the
COVID-19 virus in drinking-water or sewage. The
morphology and chemical structure of the COVID-19 virus
are similar to those of other human coronaviruses for which
there are data about both survival in the environment and
effective inactivation measures. This document draws upon
the evidence base and WHO guidance on how to protect
against viruses in sewage and drinking-water. This document
will be updated as new information becomes available.
1. COVID-19 transmission
There are two main routes of transmission of the COVID-19
virus: respiratory and contact. Respiratory droplets are
generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Any
person who is in close contact with someone who has
respiratory symptoms (sneezing, coughing) is at risk of being
exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets.1
Droplets may also land on surfaces where the virus could
remain viable; thus, the immediate environment of an
infected individual can serve as a source of transmission
(contact transmission).
Approximately 2−10% of cases of confirmed COVID-19
disease present with diarrhoea,2-4 and two studies detected
COVID-19 viral RNA fragments in the faecal matter of
COVID-19 patients.5,6 However, only one study has cultured
the COVID-19 virus from a single stool specimen.7 There
have been no reports of faecal−oral transmission of the
COVID-19 virus.
2. Persistence of the COVID-19 virus in
drinking-water, faeces and sewage and on
Although persistence in drinking-water is possible, there is
no evidence from surrogate human coronaviruses that they
are present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted
through contaminated drinking water. The COVID-19 virus
is an enveloped virus, with a fragile outer membrane.
Generally, enveloped viruses are less stable in the
environment and are more susceptible to oxidants, such as
chlorine. While there is no evidence to date about survival of
the COVID-19 virus in water or sewage, the virus is likely to
become inactivated significantly faster than non-enveloped
human enteric viruses with known waterborne transmission
(such as adenoviruses, norovirus, rotavirus and hepatitis A).
For example, one study found that a surrogate human
coronavirus survived only 2 days in dechlorinated tap water
and in hospital wastewater at 20°C.8 Other studies concur,
noting that the human coronaviruses transmissible
gastroenteritis coronavirus and mouse hepatitis virus
demonstrated a 99.9% die-off in from 2 days9 at 23°C to
2 weeks10 at 25°C. Heat, high or low pH, sunlight, and
common disinfectants (such as chlorine) all facilitate die off.
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19
survives on surfaces, but it seems likely to behave like other
coronaviruses. A recent review of the survival of human
Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus: interim guidance
coronaviruses on surfaces found large variability, ranging
from 2 hours to 9 days.11 The survival time depends on a
number of factors, including the type of surface, temperature,
relative humidity, and specific strain of the virus. The same
review also found that effective inactivation could be
achieved within 1 minute using common disinfectants, such
as 70% ethanol or sodium hypochlorite (for details, see
Cleaning practices).
3. Keeping water supplies safe
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water
supplies, and based on current evidence, the risk to water
supplies is low.12 Laboratory studies of surrogate
coronaviruses that took place in well-controlled
environments indicated that the virus could remain infectious
in water contaminated with faeces for days to weeks.10
A number of measures can be taken to improve water safety,
starting with protecting the source water; treating water at the
point of distribution, collection, or consumption; and
ensuring that treated water is safely stored at home in
regularly cleaned and covered containers.
Conventional, centralized water treatment methods that use
filtration and disinfection should inactivate the COVID-19
virus. Other human coronaviruses have been shown to be
sensitive to chlorination and disinfection with ultraviolet
(UV) light.13 As enveloped viruses are surrounded by a lipid
host cell membrane, which is not robust, the COVID-19 virus
is likely to be more sensitive to chlorine and other oxidant
disinfection processes than many other viruses, such as
coxsackieviruses, which have a protein coat. For effective
centralized disinfection, there should be a residual
concentration of free chlorine of ≥0.5 mg/L after at least 30
minutes of contact time at pH <8.0.12 A chlorine residual
should be maintained throughout the distribution system.
In places where centralized water treatment and safe piped
water supplies are not available, a number of household water
treatment technologies are effective in removing or
destroying viruses, including boiling or using
high-performing ultrafiltration or nanomembrane filters,
solar irradiation and, in non-turbid waters, UV irradiation and
appropriately dosed free chlorine.
4. Safely managing wastewater and faecal waste
There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus has been
transmitted via sewerage systems with or without wastewater
treatment. Further, there is no evidence that sewage or
wastewater treatment workers contracted the severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS), which is caused by another
type of coronavirus that caused a large outbreak of acute
respiratory illness in 2003. As part of an integrated public
health policy, wastewater carried in sewerage systems should
be treated in well-designed and well-managed centralized
wastewater treatment works. Each stage of treatment (as well
as retention time and dilution) results in a further reduction
of the potential risk. A waste stabilization pond (an oxidation
pond or lagoon) is generally considered a practical and
simple wastewater treatment technology particularly well
suited to destroying pathogens, as relatively long retention
times (20 days or longer) combined with sunlight, elevated
pH levels, biological activity, and other factors serve to
accelerate pathogen destruction. A final disinfection step
may be considered if existing wastewater treatment plants are
not optimized to remove viruses. Best practices for protecting
the health of workers at sanitation treatment facilities should
be followed. Workers should wear appropriate personal
protective equipment (PPE), which includes protective
outerwear, gloves, boots, goggles or a face shield, and a mask;
they should perform hand hygiene frequently; and they
should avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed
WASH in health care settings
Existing recommendations for water, sanitation and hygiene
measures in health care settings are important for providing
adequate care for patients and protecting patients, staff, and
caregivers from infection risks.14 The following actions are
particularly important: (i) managing excreta (faeces and urine)
safely, including ensuring that no one comes into contact
with it and that it is treated and disposed of correctly; (ii)
engaging in frequent hand hygiene using appropriate
techniques; (iii) implementing regular cleaning and
disinfection practices; and (iv) safely managing health care
waste. Other important measures include providing sufficient
safe drinking-water to staff, caregivers, and patients;
ensuring that personal hygiene can be maintained, including
hand hygiene, for patients, staff and caregivers; regularly
laundering bedsheets and patients’ clothing; providing
adequate and accessible toilets (including separate facilities
for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 infection);
and segregating and safely disposing of health care waste.
For details on these recommendations, please refer to
Essential environmental health standards in health care.14
1. Hand hygiene practices
Hand hygiene is extremely important. Cleaning hands with
soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub should be
performed according to the instructions known as “My
5 moments for hand hygiene”.15 If hands are not visibly dirty,
the preferred method is to perform hand hygiene with an
alcohol-based hand rub for 20−30 seconds using the
appropriate technique.16 When hands are visibly dirty, they
should be washed with soap and water for 40−60 seconds
using the appropriate technique.17 Hand hygiene should be
performed at all five moments, including before putting on
PPE and after removing it, when changing gloves, after any
contact with a patient with suspected or confirmed
COVID-19 infection or their waste, after contact with any
respiratory secretions, before eating, and after using the
toilet.18 If an alcohol-based hand rub and soap are not
available, then using chlorinated water (0.05%) for
handwashing is an option, but it is not ideal because frequent
use may lead to dermatitis, which could increase the risk of
infection and asthma and because prepared dilutions might
be inaccurate.19 However, if other options are not available
or feasible, using chlorinated water for handwashing is an
Functional hand hygiene facilities should be present for all
health care workers at all points of care and in areas where
PPE is put on or taken off. In addition, functional hand
hygiene facilities should be available for all patients, family
members, and visitors, and should be available within 5 m of
toilets, as well as in waiting and dining rooms and other
public areas.
Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus: interim guidance
2. Sanitation and plumbing
People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease
should be provided with their own flush toilet or latrine that
has a door that closes to separate it from the patient’s room.
Flush toilets should operate properly and have functioning
drain traps. When possible, the toilet should be flushed with
the lid down to prevent droplet splatter and aerosol clouds. If
it is not possible to provide separate toilets, the toilet should
be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily by a trained
cleaner wearing PPE (gown, gloves, boots, mask, and a face
shield or goggles). Further, and consistent with existing
guidance, staff and health care workers should have toilet
facilities that are separate from those used by all patients.
WHO recommends the use of standard, well-maintained
plumbing, such as sealed bathroom drains, and backflow
valves on sprayers and faucets to prevent aerosolized faecal
matter from entering the plumbing or ventilation system,20
together with standard wastewater treatment.21 Faulty
plumbing and a poorly designed air ventilation system were
implicated as contributing factors to the spread of the
aerosolized SARS coronavirus in a high-rise apartment
building in Hong Kong in 2003.22 Similar concerns have been
raised about the spread of the COVID-19 virus from faulty
toilets in high-rise apartment buildings.23 If health care
facilities are connected to sewers, a risk assessment should
be conducted to confirm that wastewater is contained within
the system (that is, the system does not leak) before its arrival
at a functioning treatment or disposal site, or both. Risks
pertaining to the adequacy of the collection system or to
treatment and disposal methods should be assessed following
a safety planning approach,24 with critical control points
prioritized for mitigation.
For smaller health care facilities in low-resource settings, if
space and local conditions allow, pit latrines may be the
preferred option. Standard precautions should be taken to
prevent contamination of the environment by excreta. These
precautions include ensuring that at least 1.5 m exists
between the bottom of the pit and the groundwater table
(more space should be allowed in coarse sands, gravels, and
fissured formations) and that the latrines are located at least
30 m horizontally from any groundwater source (including
both shallow wells and boreholes).21 If there is a high
groundwater table or a lack of space to dig pits, excreta
should be retained in impermeable storage containers and left
for as long as feasible to allow for a reduction in virus levels
before moving it off-site for additional treatment or safe
disposal, or both. A two-tank system with parallel tanks
would help facilitate inactivation by maximizing retention
times, as one tank could be used until full, then allowed to sit
while the next tank is being filled. Particular care should be
taken to avoid splashing and the release of droplets while
cleaning or emptying tanks.
3. Toilets and the handling of faeces
It is critical to conduct hand hygiene when there is suspected
or direct contact with faeces (if hands are dirty, then soap and
water are preferred to the use of an alcohol-based hand rub).
If the patient is unable to use a latrine, excreta should be
collected in either a diaper or a clean bedpan and immediately
and carefully disposed of into a separate toilet or latrine used
only by suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. In all
health care settings, including those with suspected or
confirmed COVID-19 cases, faeces must be treated as a
biohazard and handled as little as possible. Anyone handling
faeces should follow WHO contact and droplet precautions18
and use PPE to prevent exposure, including long-sleeved
gowns, gloves, boots, masks, and goggles or a face shield. If
diapers are used, they should be disposed of as infectious
waste as they would be in all situations. Workers should be
properly trained in how to put on, use, and remove PPE so
that these protective barriers are not breached.25 If PPE is not
available or the supply is limited, hand hygiene should be
regularly practiced, and workers should keep at least 1 m
distance from any suspected or confirmed cases.
If a bedpan is used, after disposing of excreta from it, the
bedpan should be cleaned with a neutral detergent and water,
disinfected with a 0.5% chlorine solution, and then rinsed
with clean water; the rinse water should be disposed of in a
drain or a toilet or latrine. Other effective disinfectants
include commercially available quaternary ammonium
compounds, such as cetylpyridinium chloride, used
according to manufacturer’s instructions, and peracetic or
peroxyacetic acid at concentrations of 500−2000 mg/L.26
Chlorine is ineffective for disinfecting media containing
large amounts of solid and dissolved organic matter.
Therefore, there is limited benefit to adding chlorine solution
to fresh excreta and it is possible that this may introduce risks
associated with splashing.
4. Emptying latrines and holding tanks, and
transporting excreta off-site.
There is no reason to empty latrines and holding tanks of
excreta from suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases unless
they are at capacity. In general, the best practices for safely
managing excreta should be followed. Latrines or holding
tanks should be designed to meet patient demand,
considering potential sudden increases in cases, and there
should be a regular schedule for emptying them based on the
wastewater volumes generated. PPE (long-sleeved gown,
gloves, boots, masks, and goggles or a face shield) should be
worn at all times when handling or transporting excreta
offsite, and great care should be taken to avoid splashing. For
crews, this includes pumping out tanks or unloading pumper
trucks. After handling the waste and once there is no risk of
further exposure, individuals should safely remove their
PPE and perform hand hygiene before entering the transport
vehicle. Soiled PPE should be put in a sealed bag for later
safe laundering (see Cleaning practices). Where there is no
off-site treatment, in-situ treatment can be done using lime.
Such treatment involves using a 10% lime slurry added at
1-part lime slurry per 10 parts of waste.
5. Cleaning practices
Recommended cleaning and disinfection procedures for
health care facilities should be followed consistently and
correctly.19 Laundry should be done and surfaces in all
environments in which COVID-19 patients receive care
(treatment units, community care centres) should be cleaned
at least once a day and when a patient is discharged.27 Many
disinfectants are active against enveloped viruses, such as the
COVID-19 virus, including commonly used hospital
disinfectants. Currently, WHO recommends using:
 70% ethyl alcohol to disinfect small areas between
uses, such as reusable dedicated equipment (for
example, thermometers);
 sodium hypochlorite at 0.5% (equivalent to
5000 ppm) for disinfecting surfaces.
Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus: interim guidance
All individuals dealing with soiled bedding, towels, and
clothes from patients with COVID-19 infection should wear
appropriate PPE before touching soiled items, including
heavy duty gloves, a mask, eye protection (goggles or a face
shield), a long-sleeved gown, an apron if the gown is not fluid
resistant, and boots or closed shoes. They should perform
hand hygiene after exposure to blood or body fluids and after
removing PPE. Soiled linen should be placed in clearly
labelled, leak-proof bags or containers, after carefully
removing any solid excrement and putting it in a covered
bucket to be disposed of in a toilet or latrine. Machine
washing with warm water at 60−90°C (140−194°F) with
laundry detergent is recommended. The laundry can then be
dried according to routine procedures. If machine washing is
not possible, linens can be soaked in hot water and soap in a
large drum using a stick to stir and being careful to avoid
splashing. The drum should then be emptied, and the linens
soaked in 0.05% chlorine for approximately 30 minutes.
Finally, the laundry should be rinsed with clean water and the
linens allowed to dry fully in sunlight.
If excreta are on surfaces (such as linens or the floor), the
excreta should be carefully removed with towels and
immediately safely disposed of in a toilet or latrine. If the
towels are single use, they should be treated as infectious
waste; if they are reusable, they should be treated as soiled
linens. The area should then be cleaned and disinfected (with,
for example, 0.5% free chlorine solution), following
published guidance on cleaning and disinfection procedures
for spilled body fluids.27
6. Safely disposing of greywater or water from
washing PPE, surfaces and floors.
Current WHO recommendations are to clean utility gloves or
heavy duty, reusable plastic aprons with soap and water and
then decontaminate them with 0.5% sodium hypochlorite
solution after each use. Single-use gloves (nitrile or latex)
and gowns should be discarded after each use and not reused;
hand hygiene should be performed after PPE is removed. If
greywater includes disinfectant used in prior cleaning, it does
not need to be chlorinated or treated again. However, it is
important that such water is disposed of in drains connected
to a septic system or sewer or in a soakaway pit. If greywater
is disposed of in a soakaway pit, the pit should be fenced off
within the health facility grounds to prevent tampering and to
avoid possible exposure in the case of overflow.
7. Safe management of health care waste
Best practices for safely managing health care waste should
be followed, including assigning responsibility and sufficient
human and material resources to dispose of such waste safely.
There is no evidence that direct, unprotected human contact
during the handling of health care waste has resulted in the
transmission of the COVID-19 virus. All health care waste
produced during the care of COVID 19 patients should be
collected safely in designated containers and bags, treated,
and then safely disposed of or treated, or both, preferably onsite.
If waste is moved off-site, it is critical to understand
where and how it will be treated and destroyed. All who
handle health care waste should wear appropriate PPE (boots,
apron, long-sleeved gown, thick gloves, mask, and goggles
or a face shield) and perform hand hygiene after removing it.
For more information refer to the WHO guidance, Safe
management of wastes from health-care activities.28
Considerations for WASH practices
in homes and communities.
Upholding best WASH practices in the home and community
is also important for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and
when caring for patients at home. Regular and correct hand
hygiene is of particular importance.
1. Hand hygiene
Hand hygiene in non−health care settings is one of the most
important measures that can prevent COVID 19 infection. In
homes, schools and crowded public spaces − such as markets,
places of worship, and train or bus stations − regular
handwashing should occur before preparing food, before and
after eating, after using the toilet or changing a child’s diaper,
and after touching animals. Functioning handwashing
facilities with water and soap should be available within 5 m
of toilets.
2. Treatment and handling requirements
for excreta.
Best WASH practices, particularly handwashing with soap
and clean water, should be strictly applied and maintained
because these provide an important additional barrier to
COVID-19 transmission and to the transmission of infectious
diseases in general.17 Consideration should be given to safely
managing human excreta throughout the entire sanitation
chain, starting with ensuring access to regularly cleaned,
accessible, and functioning toilets or latrines and to the safe
containment, conveyance, treatment, and eventual disposal of
When there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
in the home setting, immediate action must be taken to
protect caregivers and other family members from the risk of
contact with respiratory secretions and excreta that may
contain the COVID-19 virus. Frequently touched surfaces
throughout the patient’s care area should be cleaned regularly,
such as beside tables, bed frames and other bedroom furniture.
Bathrooms should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a
day. Regular household soap or detergent should be used for
cleaning first and then, after rinsing, regular household
disinfectant containing 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (that is,
equivalent to 5000 ppm or 1-part household bleach with 5%
sodium hypochlorite to 9 parts water) should be applied. PPE
should be worn while cleaning, including mask, goggles, a
fluid-resistant apron, and gloves,29 and hand hygiene with an
alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water should be
performed after removing PPE.
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2020;395:497–506. doi:10.1016/S0140-
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Clinical characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients
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al. Evidence for gastrointestinal infection of SARSCoV.
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edition, incorporating the first addendum. Geneva:
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Friesland M, Becker B, et al. Virucidal activity of
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when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is
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This interim guidance was written by staff from WHO and
UNICEF. In addition, a number of experts and WASH
practitioners contributed. They include Matt Arduino,
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United
States of America; David Berendes, US Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, United States of America; Lisa
Casanova, Georgia State University, United States of
America; David Cunliffe, SA Health, Australia; Rick Gelting,
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United
States of America; Dr Thomas Handzel, US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, United States of America;
Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom;
Ana Maria de Roda Husman, National Institute for Public
Health and the Environment, the Netherlands; Peter Maes,
Médicins Sans Frontières, Belgium; Molly Patrick, US
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States of
America; Mark Sobsey, University of North Carolina-Chapel
Hill, United States of America.
WHO continues to monitor the situation closely for any
changes that may affect this interim guidance. Should any
factors change, WHO will issue a further update. Otherwise,
this interim guidance document will expire 2 years after the
date of publication.
© World Health Organization 2020. Some rights reserved. This work is available under the CC BY-NC-SA
3.0 IGO licence.
WHO reference number: WHO/2019-nCoV/IPC_WASH/2020.2


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