‘No bare bottoms!’: Norman Swan weighs in on corona-farts


It’s the question everyone wants to know: can you get coronavirus from farts?

Dr Norman Swan has a strong opinion on fighting the scourge of corona-farting, and asks Australians to make yet another sacrifice.

We promise the rest of the episode isn’t as silly. It’s actually very interesting.

Coronacast is a daily podcast that’s all about answering your coronavirus questions.


In today’s episode:

  • Are Australian governments trying to eliminate coronavirus, but just aren’t telling us yet?
  • When do you know if you’re sick enough to go to the hospital?
  • Can microwaves kill coronavirus?
  • Can you get coronavirus from farts?

And Dr Norman Swan discusses some research from Nature Medicine about when people are most infectious with the SARS-Cov-2 virus.


Norman Swan: Hello, this is Coronacast, a podcast all about the novel coronavirus. I’m physician and journalist Dr Norman Swan.

Tegan Taylor: And I’m health reporter Tegan Taylor, it’s Friday, 17 April.

So today, let’s just jump straight into questions. And Norman, I have some really good ones for you, including a personal favourite of mine; can the coronavirus be transmitted through farts? Let’s get into it.

I copy here just the setion about the ‘farting’:

Tegan Taylor: A final question from an audience member for you today, this is David with a hard-hitting question; if the virus can turn up in faeces, does that mean that farts could be a transmission route?

Norman Swan: You get really intelligent, pointed questions on Coronacast and this is no doubt one of them. Well, luckily we wear a mask which covers our farts all the time, so I think that even if it were to…I think that what we should do in terms of social distancing and being safe is that a policy on the part of the entire Australian population should be that you don’t fart close to other people, and that you don’t fart with your bottom bare.

Tegan Taylor: This is excellent advice from Dr Swan. Thank you so much for clearing that up.

Norman Swan: Yep, science-based, this is hard-core evidence here we’re talking about.

Tegan Taylor: No bare bottoms.

Norman Swan: No bare-bottom farting.


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