Just Read: SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater Correlates with Cases

2020.03 COVID Ted Eytan MD-1001 892
2020.03 COVID Ted Eytan MD-1001 892 (View on Flickr.com)

Multiple studies, including this one from Paris, are showing the ability to detect coronavirus in sewage systems. This particular study was able to quantify and estimate the number of cases in the population using the technique of wastewater-based epidemiology.

The quantification of SARS-SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater affords the ability to monitor the prevalence of infections amongst the population via wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE)Ahmed W, Angel N, Edson J, Bibby K, Bivins A, O’Brien JW, et al. First confirmed detection of SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater in Australia: A proof of concept for the wastewater surveillance of COVID-19 in the community. Sci Total Environ [Internet]. 2020 Apr;138764. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0048969720322816

This ability is quite important; it would help communities decide when to relax or strengthen physical distancing procedures. The intermittent relaxing of physical distancing is important to save lives by gradually getting to herd immunity (via natural or vaccine-mediated methods) while preventing health system collapse. The big picture is discussed in this paper: Just Read: Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period – Social Distancing Through 2022

See also: Coronavirus found in Paris sewage points to early warning system | Science | AAAS

References

  1. Wurtzer S, Marechal V, Mouchel J-M, Moulin L. Time course quantitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 in Parisian wastewaters correlates with COVID-19 confirmed cases. medRxiv [Internet]. 2020 Apr 17 [cited 2020 Apr 22];2020.04.12.20062679. Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.12.20062679v1
  2. Ahmed W, Angel N, Edson J, Bibby K, Bivins A, O’Brien JW, et al. First confirmed detection of SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater in Australia: A proof of concept for the wastewater surveillance of COVID-19 in the community. Sci Total Environ [Internet]. 2020 Apr;138764. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0048969720322816

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