Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Sewerage being studied to warn of coming Covid spikes


Sewerage samples are being studied in Limassol in the hope they will lead to early warnings of increasing coronavirus infection.

The Limassol-Amathus sewerage board has partnered up with the International Water Research Centre and their researchers.

Genetic material of the virus was identified from urban sewage at the beginning of October. The latest samples analysed by the University of Cyprus was in mid-November and they showed an increase in the load compared to the previous month.

The work, done in partnership with the European Commission, is set to continue for the next four months and aims to detect the “silent spread” of the virus – acting as an early warning system.

Similar projects have been carried out across Europe, most notably in Italy which yielded results that have since made scientists reconsider their initial assumptions of when the virus spread.

Wastewater collected from Milan and Turin showed that there were traces of the virus in December 2019, suggesting that Covid-19 was already circulating in northern Italy before China reported the first cases.

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