CHICAGO (AP) — Children who use tap water from the faucets of public restrooms or sinks have a greater chance of contracting the coronavirus than children who don’t drink it, according to a new study.
The study by researchers at the University of Minnesota found the odds of contracting COVID were highest among children who drank water from faucet taps or water mains, while they were also less likely to contract the virus in water mires.
The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 9,500 people in the Twin Cities and found the children who reported drinking water from a faucette were five times more likely than children that did not to have symptoms of COVID.
Those who did have symptoms were four times more than those who did not have symptoms.
The authors say the findings do not prove that drinking from tap water is safer than drinking filtered water.
They note the study included a small number of children, and it’s possible that other factors such as household exposure to household air pollution could also be affecting how often children develop symptoms.
Researchers said the study is important because children who drink filtered water have higher levels of certain viruses than children drinking tap water.
But they said the data suggest that the virus could be passed to other people through drinking.