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Presence of coronavirus in sewage quantitatively reflects number infected


Key points from article :

Presence of coronavirus traces in sewage could be useful to predict future spread.

Tested 23 raw samples and 8 treated samples from 3 major wastewater treatment plants.

All raw samples and six treated samples had coronavirus in them.

Contamination of wastewater and detection occurred before exponential growth of the epidemic.

Could use to detect a possible epidemic at an early stage and restrict movement of local population.

Much faster and cheaper than screening individuals but sensitivity is yet to be determined.

Research by Sorbonne University and Eau de Paris, published on pre-print website medRxiv.

Quickly becomes inactive in faeces and sewage so there's no risk of infection

Mentioned in this article:

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Public water company in France


Website distributing complete but unpublished scientific results


Professor of Epidemiology


Director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, Biodesign Institute


Former association of universities and higher education institutions


Lecturer in Sensor Technology at Cranfield Water Science Institute