The new tool that will give Victoria a ‘big advantage’ in the battle against COVID-19
Victoria finally has a publicly available database of COVID-19 sewage testing results, and an infectious diseases expert says it’ll make a huge difference in the fight to against the virus.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton this morning took to Twitter to announce the information collected via wastewater testing is now available online.
Sewage surveillance is well established now in Victoria. Sites can detect virus for several weeks after the last active case in the catchment. But when all sites are returning negative results, this will be a critical tool for us. See:https://t.co/WtNqzGUzOl
— Chief Health 🍩fficer, Victoria (@VictorianCHO) November 1, 2020
Professor of infectious diseases at the ANU Medical School, Peter Collignon, says comprehensive wastewater analysis provides a “big advantage”.
“About two thirds of people who’ve got COVID also excrete it in their faeces,” he told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.
“The advantage of looking at sewage is you’re testing the people who may be asymptomatic or do not turn up for testing because they think ‘my symptoms are only mild’.
“The big advantage is you can then direct much more into that area where you need to do more testing.
“It’s useful … to tell you what’s going on, including the people who aren’t being tested.”
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