Message Number: YG5126 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Claire Curtis
Date: 2001-07-04 11:39:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Transmittal of diseases

Hi all --
Does anyone have any data on the persistance and survival conditions of

Several posts have made reference to transmission via clothing and such.
Many devastating viruses are relatively wimpy -- AIDS, for instance, is
destroyed very easily just by exposure to air; others, such as hepatitis
or Foot&mouth, are tougher. But ones that persist for months (as someone
implied) are very rare. If ADV is one of these --- where do you dispose
of litter?

I compost my litter; composting generally achieves a high enough
temperature to destroy most pathogens. Is this sufficient?

Putting litter in the trash means it goes to a public landfill; even
with modern compacting and containment, I distrust this as a way to
avoid spreading disease, especially when we are worried about spreading
to wildlife rather than to humans.

Putting used litter down the toilet may be OK, assuming the litter you
use lets you do this. However, it in now in an aqueous medium. If you
have a septic field, the runoff will enter the local soil, and the
solids will go into a composting-style landfill whenever your septic
tank is pumped. If you have a sewer hook-up, it goes to the local
treatment plant, and a) virtually all sewage treatment facilities allow
overflow during flood or storm conditions, and b) the solids that you
can pick up for use in the garden come with warnings not to use on
vegetables, in case there are any pathogens that survive. So the
treatment is not foolproof.

As I said, it would be a darn tough virus to make any of this worth
worrying about. But now I'm worried -- is there any data on what kills
this virus?