Sewage could hold the key to stopping new coronavirus outbreaks

“We have a high, high volume of waste waters and it is a challenge to find the traces of the virus in the waste waters,” said Rene Kallies, a virologist working on the project. “So we have liters and we have to scale it down to microliters to get a sufficient amount for RNA extraction and that’s the challenge.”
Yet, the scientists say they could detect a Covid trace surge within a day and transmit that information to local authorities.Another challenge, the scientists say, is the current low number of new infections in Germany, which makes finding the virus even more difficult and means that a single infected person could skew test results.”Whereas the testing of individuals requires individual tests, testing in sewage can give an early indication of the contamination within a whole population,” KWR said on its website.But they acknowledge there are still problems to work out, although they say they are confident the system will be in place and working in the latter half of 2020, in time to help contain a possible second wave of the coronavirus.”I think we can offer something before the next wave,” Harms said, referring to a working detection system that can be used by states and sewage systems.

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