Fresh Water can house live Viruses if the "Hitchhike" on Micro-Plastics
Viruses such as Rotavirus were found to be infectious for nearly three days by attaching to micro-plastics
Many scientists and researchers had to reevaluate what they had previously known about viruses due to the Covid pandemic. This left one scientist against the next and so on. However, researchers have found conclusive evidence, and have provided a finding scientifically correct surrounding viruses.
Dangerous viruses can remain infections for nearly three days in freshwater if they can grab onto and stay with plastics. The virus being studied was Enteric viruses. They cause diarrhea and upset stomachs. Within the family are diseases such as rotavirus and they were found to survive in water by attaching to microplastics.
“We found that viruses can attach to microplastics and that allows them to survive in the water for three days, possibly longer.
We weren’t sure how well viruses could survive by ‘hitchhiking’ on plastic in the environment, but they do survive and they do remain infectious.”
Professor Richard Quilliam, the lead researcher on the project at Stirling University, said.
The findings ultimately concluded that microplastics enabled pathogen transfer in the environment studied (freshwater and microplastic involvement). The paper has then been published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
“Being infectious in the environment for three days, that’s long enough to get from the wastewater treatment works to the public beach. Even if a wastewater treatment plant is doing everything it can to clean sewage waste, the water discharged still has microplastics in it, which are then transported down the river, into the estuary and wind up on the beach.
Sometimes they wash up on the beach as lentil-sized, brightly colored pellets called nurdles that children might pick up and put in their mouths. It doesn’t take many virus particles to make you sick. While the impact of microplastics on human health remains uncertain, if those bits of microplastics are colonized by human pathogens, then that could well be a significant health risk.”
Viruses that have an envelope around them and those without the envelope were tested. Studies show that those with the coating would die sooner than those without. When the virus had the coating, the freshwater would dissolve the envelope and the virus would soon die. When the virus had no known coating, it would bind to the microplastics.
Viruses were tested for three days, but researchers have aimed to study strictly how long they remain infectious in the future.