Local

‘Detected outside of San Francisco’: Traces of COVID-19 variant omicron found in Bay Area sewage, scientists say

San Francisco (KGO)-Scientists report traces of COVID-19 variant Omicron in sewage from multiple cities across California, including the Bay Area.

This means that the next coronavirus outbreak or new variant may be first detected in our wastewater.

“Even those who do not even know they are infected or who have not been tested in the laboratory can detect signals from infections in wastewater. The detection method is very sensitive and can be detected as follows: There is only one infection in 100,000 people, “said Caranelson, a professor of civil engineering and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Related: How serious is Omicron?Experts say 50 mutations in the variant could be its failure

For the past 14 months, Dr. Nelson’s team at the University of California, Berkeley has been monitoring the genetic material for COVID-19 in wastewater. They obtain samples from 15 different sewerage facilities throughout the state. At the end of last week, they sequenced a sample containing traces of the Omicron variant.

“We are currently monitoring 10 different wastewater sites in the Bay Area and 5 sites in the Central Valley and Southern California. One of the Bay Area sites and one of Southern California’s sites is the potential presence of Omicron. “Professor Nelson said.

Bay Area samples were found outside San Francisco. This suggests that this detection process may be faster than clinical samples.

Ruth Pena: “What are your plans to find other variants?”

Professor Nelson: “In addition to looking for specific mutants by quantitative PCR, we can sequence wastewater and look for mutations that are even new mutations that we do not yet know. There is a good chance that they will be detected. Detected in clinical samples. A new variant of unwastewater. “

Stanford University has another team of scientists working 24/7 to measure daily wastewater samples. Their latest findings also show the detection of Omicron in multiple cities.

Related: Health officials revive contact tracing as cases of Omicron mutants detected in more U.S. states

“We processed more than 60 samples of wastewater from the Greater Bay Area. Most of them did not detect Omicron. They did not detect, but two from Sacramento and one from Merced, for a total of three. We processed it with two samples, which detect omicrons at very low levels, “said Alexandria Boehm, a professor of civil engineering and environmental engineering at Stanford University.

Both groups hope that early detection of variants will help the community prepare for response before it occurs.

“What we saw with the delta mutations in wastewater was a steady increase over time, with this trend and a significant increase in concentration. Therefore, see if the same is observed with the Omicron mutations. “We do,” said Professor Böhm.

Both professors agree that there is no risk of COVID-19 in the water.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is a very sissy. It becomes non-infectious very quickly in wastewater. There is no evidence that wastewater itself indicates a risk of infection,” said Professor Nelson. ..

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. all rights reserved.



‘Detected outside of San Francisco’: Traces of COVID-19 variant omicron found in Bay Area sewage, scientists say Source link ‘Detected outside of San Francisco’: Traces of COVID-19 variant omicron found in Bay Area sewage, scientists say

Related Articles

Back to top button