A recent study reported in “Environmental Science & Technology” outlines a procedure that can be used to not only detect the coronavirus in wastewater samples but also track the rate of infection to know whether the levels are moving down or up.
Wastewater is a coronavirus source, given that infected individuals discharge the virus through their stool. Testing this wastewater could therefore be utilized in tracking the virus. The information gathered can then be used as supplementary information by public health officials in containing the virus. This may help improve public health measures.
This test works by determining and measuring the genetic material found in the wastewater in the form of RNA from the virus that gives rise to the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. A professor of environmental and civil engineering from Stanford, Alexandria Boehm, who is also a co-senior author of the study, explained that the group’s work confirms that data collected from the wastewater adds to the data from clinical testing and may provide extra insight into coronavirus infections in communities.
As America struggles with high transmission rates of the virus, acquiring more information to help track surges in infections remains an important focus in trying to manage the deadly infection. The virus is difficult to track given that many mild or asymptomatic cases are undetected. The infection can still spread even after a test has been taken because individuals have to wait before receiving their results. This impedes quick identification, isolation and treatment, which would slow the disease from spreading significantly.
Identifying these cases more quickly would allow community officials to act rapidly in response, before the disease gets to a point where the local health system is overwhelmed by too many hospitalizations and disease transmission becomes too hard to contain.
The researchers improved the accuracy and efficacy of wastewater surveillance for the coronavirus by comparing the capacity to identify the virus in two wastewater forms, i.e., from a sediment settled in a tank and from a liquid influent. The researchers noted that many viruses were attracted to solids, adding that they expected to find higher concentrations of the coronavirus in these samples. This, they said, could improve consistency and detection.
The team of researchers discovered that the samples from the settled sediments contained higher concentrations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which made it easier to detect in comparison with the liquid samples. Another of the study’s co-senior authors, associate professor of environmental and civil engineering from the University of Michigan Krista Wigginton, stated that the group’s results confirms its hypothesis that testing solids in wastewater would produce reproducible and sensitive measurements of the coronavirus in a community. This, she said, meant that researchers could now track trends when coronavirus cases were still few.
Aside from looking into the current pandemic, lots of firms have focused their attention on other issues afflicting human health. For instance, Brain Scientific Inc. (OTCQB: BRSF) develops proprietary and innovative medical software and devices, primarily for improving neurological diagnostics.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Brain Scientific Inc. (OTCQB: BRSF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/BRSF
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