The relationship between Covid-19 and No. 2 has also sparked interest in the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. in the a document dated April 21 The department lists the unanswered questions from the DHS regarding the pandemic and raises questions about the novel corona virus and feces.
“[T]The relative contribution of various sources of infection – fomites, droplets, aerosols and potential faeces – is unknown, ”the document says.
John Verrico, a spokesman for the department’s Science and Technology Directorate, said it plans to “test the virus’s viability in waste (fecal matter), which could affect decontamination processes set by health authorities”.
Grevatt found that a number of large wastewater providers across the country have started monitoring the inflow virus. Officials in Newcastle County, Delaware monitor their wastewater for coronavirus RNA. according to CNNas well as professors in Syracuse, New York.
Another example is Clean Water Services, a sewage company that supplies the suburbs west of Portland, Oregon. Mark Jockers, head of government and public affairs at the utility, said the utility works with the start-up Biobot Collect and analyze samples whose primary interest is “to track the relative increase or decrease in the detection of COVID-19 in the samples over time”. Its utility also works with researchers from Oregon State University to take finer samples, hoping to find the virus at certain sources, such as schools, hospitals, and retirement homes.
Newsha Ghaeli, co-founder and president of Biobot, said in an interview that her company was collecting wastewater samples from 170 wastewater treatment plants in 37 states, including Massachusetts, New York and Washington, from late March, and produced and shared weekly case estimates with local communities on how there is much evidence of the virus in the samples. Ghaeli said her company wants to help officials be warned early if the virus recurs so they can try to stem new outbreaks.
“What makes wastewater epidemiology a great addition to the surveillance framework that communities are currently putting together because it is such a quick and relatively inexpensive way to get trend data or to measure the extent of the outbreak in the community and understand how it is developing. ” over time, “she said.
In the meantime, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have had at least one conversation about the potential of aerosol feces to spread the virus indoors. Two knowledgeable sources told POLITICO that members who met earlier this year were discussing concerns about problematic plumbing systems that caused high levels of fecal matter to air. These faeces in the air could then be sucked into ventilation slots and distributed in buildings.
According to sources, members of the White House Task Force who discussed the matter ruled out the possibility of the disease spreading this way in New York, the city with by far the highest infection rate in the United States.
They also discussed whether this potential method of contamination could affect the spread of the virus in Asia. However, one source said that this was not seen as a major problem in the United States.
The concern is not hypothetical. In 2003, officials said SARS – also a type of coronavirus – had apparently spread to a large number Hong Kong Dwelling through dysfunctional bathroom pipes, after a Washington Post report.
“If the bathroom was used with the door closed and the exhaust fan turned on, negative pressure could occur to extract contaminated droplets into the bathroom,” a leading health official from Hong Kong told Post at the time. “Contaminated droplets could then have been deposited on various surfaces such as floor mats, towels, toiletries and other bathroom equipment.”