The University of Arizona has made a claim that it has prevented the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak before it started. At the Likins Hall dorm, which is across the city from the recreational center of the University of Arizona, two students were found to have contracted the virus and they were also asymptomatic.
The university stated that it pulled this off by mixing many methods of tackling the virus, like swab testing, contact tracing, and also analyzing sewage. The country implemented wastewater-based testing all over the campus. This effort involves the analysis of sewage samples for tracing the coronavirus and gave the university a method to rapidly and repeatedly look for the traces of the virus in the discrete groups of people.
"From one test, we get the prevalence of the virus within the whole community," Ian Pepper, who is an environmental microbiologist leading the wastewater testing effort stated.
COVID-19 Tracing by Analyzing Sewage
Pepper said that this type of testing is pretty much useful for discovering and isolating the infected individuals before they have a chance of spreading the disease. The two cases that were identified were both asymptomatic and according to the microbiologist, wastewater testing can be efficient enough to detect the coronavirus up to a week before a person develops symptoms.
The team of Pepper is currently conducting regular tests of sewage from 20 buildings. The wastewater testing is designed for catching fragments of the virus that are shed from the body. The team has been collecting sewage samples from buildings two times a week.
According to Pepper, the sampling can be done more frequently. "What we're trying to find are those asymptomatic individuals who can be unknowing vectors infecting people," Robbins stated as reported by NBC News. Pepper and his colleagues are hoping to publish the results of the research in a journal that is peer-reviewed. The deadly virus outbreak is currently reading like wildfire as scientists are working to find a cure for the deadly disease. An effective vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.