Image by NIAID/Victor Tangermann

According a report published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) last week, researchers were able to confirm COVID-19 patients had "live virus in stool specimens" suggesting that the vicious virus called 2019-nCoV can be transmitted through fecal matter.

The spread through only "respiratory droplets and contact transmission" weren't able to fully account for all cases of the deadly COVID-19 according to the report, leading to searchers examining other ways the virus spreads.

"This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain its strong transmission and fast transmission speed," reads the report.

A different study was able to reproduce these findings independently, finding the virus in both blood and anal swabs of COVID-19 patients, as LiveScience reports.

As for what you can do to minimize risk, the advice remains largely the same, as issued by the World Health Organization: wash your hands frequently, avoid unprotected contact with farm animals, and keep a distance from those who are showing symptoms.

China CDC additionally recommends "drinking boiled water, avoiding raw food consumption," and "disinfecting of surfaces of objects in households, toilets, public places, and transportation vehicles," among other suggestions.