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COVID-19 Detection: Wastewater Analysis May Be Useful, According to INSPQ | Coronavirus


In a document sent on Wednesday, the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) writes that wastewater monitoring seems to be a more useful monitoring tool to serve as an early warning when there is a rapid increase in cases, in particular when the intensity of clinical screening is reduced, as is currently the case.

However, theNational Institute of Public Health of Quebec points out that monitoring in wastewater is in its infancy and that more studies and experiments are needed.

In addition, the Institute’s document covers the literature produced from November 2019 to February 2021. It therefore cannot deal with the introduction of the different variants of the COVID-19 virus that have since emerged.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers in several regions of Canada have undertaken to monitor the content of wastewater, observing the presence of tiny traces of the virus in order to follow its progress.

Dr Christopher Mody, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, recently reported that PCR test diagnoses would be barely one-sixth or one-eighth of the actual number of cases and that this gap could grow with people who are rely on rapid tests and those who don’t get tested.

Dr Mody then pointed out that the analysis of wastewater could help to partly compensate for the lack of data. In her opinion, it is an extremely useful tool in assessing the magnitude of the disease burden.

In Quebec, a six-month pilot project on the study of wastewater, funded by the Quebec Research Fund, the Molson Foundation and the Trottier Family Foundation, ended early last month. Polytechnique Montreal professor Sarah Dorner explained that there was no more funding to continue.

Professor Dorner reported that before the project expired, her team had observed a rapid increase in SARS-CoV-2 in Montreal’s wastewater.

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