An unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in China when a broken bathroom pipe from a home whose occupants had the disease led to the spread of infectious sewage. The incident was reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases and revealed at least eight people were infected with the virus when the contaminated sewage spilled onto residential streets.
According to Newsweek, the study authors emphasized the importance of hygienic sewage management after tracing the path of infectious water from the home of one infected couple to nearby residents. Scientists have found traces of the coronavirus in the feces of patients and say that wastewater can be an effective tracking tool to trace COVID-19 since the virus shows up in feces before other symptoms such as fevers and coughs appear.
There has been widespread support for a national wastewater surveillance program to help track COVID-19 and provide a cost effective way to detect early signs of where the disease is spreading. According to The Washington Post, the University of Arizona elected to test sewage from all 20 of its residence halls. A wastewater sample from one of the dorms came back positive and two asymptomatic students who lived in that dorm also tested positive for the virus and were quickly quarantined, preventing what could have been a major outbreak. Other schools, including the University of California, are doing the same.
© 2020 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.