Verify: Can COVID-19 survive in ocean water? Here’s what a professor says

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News 8 reached out to Dr. Charles Gerba, Professor of Environmental Virology at the University of Arizona.

Gerba said at this point, no one can say for sure.

“We don’t have a lot of data on it right now,” said Gerba.

Gerba believes the possibility of catching COVID-19 while swimming in the ocean is unlikely.

“They tend to be more transmitted in aerosol, droplets, contaminated surfaces and not water,” said Gerba.

According to Gerba, when it comes to seawater, people should be more concerned about areas contaminated by untreated sewage runoff, like in Imperial Beach.

“The data on whether we’re dealing with [and]infectious virus in sewage or not is still debatable,” said Gerba. “Two studies have said ‘yes, it’s infectious.’ Two have said ‘no’ in feces.”

Keep in mind, at this point, the CDC has no reported cases of someone getting coronavirus from feces or sewage.

See CBS8

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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