COVID-19, which has already infected over 3.9 million individuals all over the globe, has been found to exist in wastewater, but scientists are not sure how high the risks of transmission are, as per reports.
Two experts in water from Northwestern University have declared that the risk of getting infected with the novel coronavirus is higher than it was previously thought to be. They highlight the fact that the danger is serious only if the water is taken from a place with inadequate wastewater infrastructure.
Aaron Packman, a Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering affiliated professor, declared that new data about the COVID-19 pandemic suggests that the novel coronavirus also infects the GI tract of humans, then being excreted into sewage systems. An analysis shows that the risk of getting infected via wastewater is present.
COVID-19 in Wastewater
Although disinfection will destroy the virus inside the water, wastewater systems should be carefully examined to make sure there is minimal exposure of the public to wastewater that has not been treated.
In a lot of parts of America, the water infrastructure contains some pipes that were installed in the 1800s. The USA’s drinking water infrastructure received a D-minus rating from the American Civil Society of Engineers, together with the recommendation of massive investments in this sector in the interest of public health.
According to Packman, who is the director of the Center for Water Research in Northwestern, the waterborne transmission of COVID-19 could lead to problems in areas where water treatment and sanitation are lackluster.
George Wells, an assistant professor of environmental and civil engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering, has said that wastewater can signal the health of an entire community, which is why close and consistent monitoring of COVID-19 in wastewater systems could be an efficient, cheap and fast way of tracking the progression of the disease. It could also have uses as a warning signal for a possible new wave of cases in the future.