Half of those infected with the coronavirus flush the virus into the toilet when they go to the bathroom.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) is benefiting from a trial project that has been running since spring and will last for six months.
Wastewater from Tromsø, Trondheim, Bergen, Oslo and the Ullensaker/Gardermoen area is analyzed for viruses by the laboratory Nemco Norlab.
In total, the population in these areas is approximately 30 percent of Norway’s population, according to the FHI.
Mentioned in January Pinposton A similar project was launched in the spring of 2020 at the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (Niva).
Espan Rostrup Nakstad, Assistant Director of Health at the Directorate of Health, writes in an SMS to Dagbladet that the review of sewage can provide clues to an epidemic in the community.
– In many countries, routine sampling of sewage is carried out to detect infectious agents. As the coronavirus is shed in the feces, repeated measurements of the same area could indicate whether infection is increasing or decreasing in the population, writes Nakstad.
The program was already started in the 22nd week. The results of the last few weeks indicate a downward infection trend based on discharge statistics. That’s what the last one shows Weekly reports From FHI.
Many may associate infection surveillance with an era of mass testing in schools and testing centers, but in many European countries it is based on monitoring wastewater. It’s also being done in New York, reports say The New York Times.
According to FHI International research indicates that sewage surveillance is useful for “early warning” of new epidemic waves and detection of introduction of new virus variants/variants of concern.
– Samples are taken at sewage treatment plants, which now receive approx. 30 percent of Norway’s population, and could theoretically give a good, but incomplete, picture of the level of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage. For example, explosions in areas not connected to these sewage plants are not taken into account, writes Lain Victoria Moen, senior consultant at FHI, in an email to Dagbladet.
The purpose of FHI’s drainage plan is to form the basis for further preparedness Project description to FHI.
FHI believes that it cannot replace the clinical examination known as the drainage test – which we are all familiar with through the nose and throat swab.
– At a point in an epidemic, when the proportion of the population testing themselves drops disproportionately, sewage monitoring can be an important adjunct in infection control, FHI writes.
Moen, a senior adviser at FHI, emphasizes that monitoring is currently a pilot program.
– Currently this is a pilot project which will be evaluated at the end of the period. He writes in an e-mail that the aim of the project is to evaluate the utility of monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater as an adjunct to clinical surveillance to follow infection trends in populations and capture new viral variants. Mail to Dagbladet.
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