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Coronavirus Update – Scientists Studying Sewage Water To Potentially Identify Hotspots

The outbreak that started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China is now wreaking havoc upon the world. The number of confirmed cases in the world is rising every single day, and so is the death toll. More than 4.3 million cases of the virus have been confirmed around the world, and more than 294,000 people have lost their lives. Coronavirus has proved to be a pandemic, the likes of which haven’t been seen in more than a century.

Thus, scientists all over the world are trying to find new ways to determine the spread of the virus in specified areas. They have focused on different characteristics, used different types of technologies, and tried out different methods.

However, one such research stands out.

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Coronavirus Update - Scientists Studying Sewage Water To Potentially Identify Hotspots

WHAT ARE THE SCIENTISTS TRYING TO DO TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS?

Most methods to ascertain the spread of the virus focus on testing the individuals. However, this method doesn’t do that.

An international group of wastewater experts is developing the way to use sewage water to identify new coronavirus hotspots. They are trying to determine the level of infection in a community through the wastewater generated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said –

“Some studies have been carried out overseas on this and I think it is something we are looking at as a possible way of seeing if you could track the rate of infections locally.”

They also said that the research would help “track if the virus is more prevalent in some parts of the country than in others”.

Coronavirus Update - Scientists Studying Sewage Water To Potentially Identify Hotspots

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The group includes engineers from the University of Sheffield and was formed by the Water Research Foundation.

The crux of their research is using molecular genetics tools to identify levels of the virus in sewage samples.

Currently, there is no evidence of live samples of the virus being found in the virus. However, viral genetic material was found in sewage water samples in the Netherlands weeks before their first case was detected.

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Rhythm Bhatia

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