Being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 through bathing waters is highly unlikely, although its survival in rivers is greater than in swimming pools and the sea. The main routes of contagion are still secretions from coughing or sneezing and contact between people, so it is very important to maintain social distancing.

As in other scenarios, the main route of transmission of the coronavirus is through respiratory secretions that are generated by coughing and sneezing and person-to-person contact, so the general recommendations for distancing as in other places.

Also in these spaces for the bathroom, the main route of transmission of the coronavirus is through respiratory secretions and person-to-person contact, so you must follow the distancing recommendations

The crowds that usually occur in swimming pools and beaches, as well as objects of common use, can continue to serve as a contagion mechanism.

Other possible routes of infection reviewed by scientists are those derived from the presence of the virus in wastewater that can reach bodies of bathing water and the survival of the virus from bathers in waters, sands, and bordering surfaces.

The authors of the report have been based on the scientific literature available to date to give a series of indications and recommendations for spaces intended for recreational water activities.

Very unlikely water contact

The results confirm that the SARS-CoV-2 infection by contact with the water of standard conditions for the bathroom is very unlikely. However, these activities generally involve a loss of recommended social distancing measures.

Disinfectants commonly used in pool and spa water to prevent microbial contamination are sufficient to inactivate the virus

In swimming pools and spas, the use of disinfectant agents is widely implemented in order to avoid microbial contamination of the waters due to the influx of users, and this measure should be sufficient to inactivate the virus.

The aerosols generated in a spa or in a medicinal water facility will have the same disinfection characteristics as the bathing waters of these facilities. In those cases in which the environment of the facilities is kept at high temperatures, as in the case of saunas and steam baths, it is expected that, due to the high temperature (above 60 ÂșC), the survival of the virus is reduced.

For its part, regarding seawater, the report maintains that, although there is currently no data on the persistence of SARS-CoV-2, the dilution effect and the presence of salt are factors that probably contribute to a decrease in viral load and its inactivation by analogy to what happens with similar viruses.

More care in the rivers

However, the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in water from rivers, lakes, and untreated freshwater pools is higher compared to swimming pools and saltwater and, therefore, precautionary measures must be taken to avoid agglomerations, these being the most inadvisable aquatic environments in relation to other alternatives.

Survival of SARS-CoV-2 in rivers, lakes, fresh and untreated pools is superior compared to swimming pools and seawater, where the dilution effect and salt probably help reduce viral load

Another factor that may be of concern is the prevalence of the virus in the sand present on beaches or banks. Although there are no experimental studies in this regard, the joint action of seawater salt, solar ultraviolet radiation, and the high temperature that sand can reach are favorable for the inactivation of pathogens.