In 2016, traces of polio were found in the sewers of Mumbai — two years after the World Health Organization declared the country free of polio. It was an awakening call that immediately focused on efforts to re-vaccinate children.
In 2013, a wastewater test detected a polio epidemic in Israel before the case reported by hospitals and clinics.
Around the world, experts say similar checks could warn health authorities if the SARS-Cov-2 responsible for Covid-19 persists through lockdown or reappears after sedation. I believe. If sewage-filled with human feces-is positive, we can be convinced of several things: the case has passed the sieve of conventional laboratory tests and despite measures such as social distance and population restrictions. No, the infection is widespread in the community.
In densely populated areas, sewage testing is a faster approach to early detection of disease than door-to-door testing.
“What we need is about 250 ml of sewage, because infected people shed a lot of the virus. We can determine if the pathogen persists in the community, even if no new cases have been reported. Lock See if Down worked, says Charles Djerba, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Arizona Department of Environmental Sciences.
On March 11, Djerba, a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-sponsored Polio Programme, discovered new coronavirus traces in Tucson sewage, Arizona.
“At that time, the city had 40 cases. There are now more than 1,000. Detecting these traces can alert authorities before the surge.
The new coronavirus does not persist in sewage for one day, but supervisors (by the molecular testing method recommended by CDC) can detect Sars-CoV-2 genetic markers in sewage samples collected before and after sewage treatment . It should be noted that sewage is not the preferred route for viruses to infect people.
“The tests are very specific and can be done fairly easily in a country like India. But I would like to say to the environmental watchers who are working on these tests that anyway preventive measures such as personal protection kits and hand washing. I ask you to take action, “said Gerber.
Another major advantage of wastewater monitoring is early detection. The virus appears in human feces within 2-3 days of infection.
This is a process that can take up to 2 weeks before the onset of symptoms that are serious enough for hospital treatment. “Sewage may have evidence of infection before it is reported by the hospital,” Gerba said.
However, there is concern that wastewater testing can deplete some of the resources used for human clinical testing in hospitals and other facilities.
Mariana Matus, CEO and co-founder of BioBot, a start-up company that is currently analyzing wastewater from 30 US states, said: No hospital infrastructure is required for our testing. ”
“The supply chains are non-overlapping. We use research-grade bulk reagents to avoid the use of medical-grade test kits.”
A Dutch researcher, who first discovered SARS-Cov-2 in sewage, said wastewater monitoring would be a complementary approach to laboratory testing to monitor epidemics. Experts there found traces of sewage infection just four days after the country’s first case.
“Samples are collected to detect the genetic material of the Covid-19 virus, with the aim of using the sewer as a mirror of the population. Frederic Béen, a scientific researcher at the KWR Water Research Institute, said: States.
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