Can Sewage be a Virus Early Warning System?

Dutch scientists found coronavirus traces in sewage before Covid-19 was
reported in people.

“Sewage surveillance can add to the picture that we get of this virus circulation and it could also be an early warning,” says Gertan Medema, a Dutch water microbiologist.

Coronavirus was detected in Amersfoort 6 days before any official cases.

“With the virus transmission in people that are having only mild symptoms, this one is much more difficult to control.”

Coronavirus may be found in your poo.

“During the journey in the sewer, the sewer is not a friendly environment for this virus. And so we will, we are doing a Covid test to see how quickly our signal is degrades in in sewage.”

Wastewater is already used to detect poliovirus.

“After the epidemic subsides again, we may use it as a tool to monitor if the virus reemerges or if it in it could also help in countries with more limited resources as a as a two to two surveillance in the of the virus circulation in the population.”

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In This Story: Covid-19

Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

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The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
  • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
  • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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