Tue, 04-Aug-2020
Saturday 27 Jun 2020 , 10:57 am

Coronavirus Traces Found in March 2019 Sewage Sample, Spanish study shows

The University of Barcelona team, who had been testing waste water since mid-April this year to identify potential new outbreaks, decided to also run tests on older samples.
By SIN Bureau
Share at:

Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China, the University of Barcelona said on Friday.

The discovery of virus genome presence so early in Spain, if confirmed, would imply the disease may have appeared much earlier than the scientific community thought.

The University of Barcelona team, who had been testing waste water since mid-April this year to identify potential new outbreaks, decided to also run tests on older samples.

They first found the virus was present in Barcelona on Jan. 15, 2020, 41 days before the first case was officially reported there.

Then they ran tests on samples taken between January 2018 and December 2019 and found the presence of the virus genome in one of them, collected on March 12, 2019.

“The levels of SARS-CoV-2 were low but were positive,” research leader Albert Bosch was quoted as saying by the university.

The research has been submitted for a peer review.

Dr Joan Ramon Villalbi of the Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration told Reuters it was still early to draw definitive conclusions.

“When it’s just one result, you always want more data, more studies, more samples to confirm it and rule out a laboratory error or a methodological problem,” he said.

There was the potential for a false positive due to the virus’ similarities with other respiratory infections.

“But it’s definitely interesting, it’s suggestive,” Villalbi said.

Bosch, who is president of the Spanish Society of Virologists, said that an early detection even in January could have improved the response to the pandemic. Instead, patients were probably misdiagnosed with common flu, contributing to community transmission before measures were taken.

Prof. Gertjan Medema of the KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands, whose team began using a coronavirus test on waste water in February, suggested the Barcelona group needs to repeat the tests to confirm it is really the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Spain has recorded more than 28,000 confirmed deaths and nearly 250,000 cases of the virus so far.

Read Here




Neha Mule

Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.

More from Neha Mule

Smart News, Updates and Insights Drive Smarter Decisions

Smart Industry News is a one stop shop of industry news across the globe. We have a team of experts who provides latest updates on industry news to our readers daily. The news available on our website is general information and does not provide our customers with any legal or professional advice specific to any industry...

sales@smartindustrynews.com
media@smartindustrynews.com

Subscribe to our newsletter
Get the latest in your inbox weekly Sign up for the fully charged newsletter
Follow Us:
© The News and Media Division of The Insight Partners 2019 | All Rights Reserved