New ways of transmitting the coronavirus have been reported, and virus nucleic acid has been detected outside human bodies, sparking public concerns that the virus could be transmitted in unknown and undetected ways.
Scientists have found coronavirus nucleic acid on the doorknob of a confirmed Guangzhou-based patient's house, the first case of novel coronavirus detected outside the human body, Guangzhou Daily reported Monday.
Mobile phone screens, computer keyboards, faucets and other household objects may indirectly transmit the virus, experts said.
A man from Northeast China's Jilin Province, who was confirmed with coronavirus infection on Monday, shared his experience, saying he had used the same microphone with another confirmed patient during a meeting in January.
Aside from respiratory droplets and contact transmissions, a 40-year-old man from North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, who lives upstairs of a confirmed patient, was also diagnosed with coronavirus infection on Saturday.
The person has no clear contact histories with people from other cities, patients, or wild animals and has never been to a market, according to the local health authority on Sunday.
Netizens were concerned the patient from Inner Mongolia might have been infected through toilet plumbing or ventilation devices.
Experts had warned that the novel coronavirus could be transmitted through the digestive system as they found 2019-nCoV nucleic acids in patients' stool and rectal swabs, and health authorities had suggested the central air conditioning system be discontinued if coronavirus patients are found.
The case drew attention to a case during the SARS outbreak in 2003 - In Amoy Gardens residential complex in Hong Kong, aerosolized feces spread from floor to floor through plumbing, infecting over 300 people with the virus, reports said.
On Sunday, 2,829 new cases of coronavirus were reported nationwide in China, raising the total number of those infected to 17,205. The death toll hit 361.