Will reopening reignite pandemic? Tests of poop at Miami-Dade sewage plants may be first clue

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“It’s long been known that human waste can carry a lot of nasty pathogens that survive passage through the bowels — from bacteria like cholera and fecal coliform to assorted viruses like hepatitis and, over the last few months, the novel coronavirus. Already in cities like Paris, researchers have been able to trace the outbreak through coronavirus concentrations in the sewage and believe upticks will appear in wastewater before cases show up at hospitals and clinics.

Hurricanes and other major storms frequently result in wastewater treatment plants having to release sewage into rivers to prevent it from backing up in homes, while leaks can also result in raw sewage in streets or lawns, he added. While drinking water is highly unlikely to carry viruses, PEER wants utilities to routinely screen it for COVID-19 following overflow events.”

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