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Coronavirus traces found in Massachusetts wastewater at levels far higher than expected

By Jackie Salo | 9 April 2020

NEW YORK POST — Coronavirus was detected in Massachusetts sewage at higher levels than expected, suggesting there are many more undiagnosed patients than previously known, according to a new study.

Researchers from biotech startup Biobot Analytics collected samples from a wastewater facility for an unnamed metropolitan area in late March, according to a report Tuesday on medRxiv.

Eric Alm, one of the authors of the study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, stressed that the public is not at risk of contracting the virus from particles in the wastewater, but they may have the potential to indicate how widespread the virus has become, Newsweek reported.

“Even if those viral particles are no longer active or capable of infecting humans, they may still carry genetic material that can be detected using an approach called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which amplifies the genetic signal many orders of magnitude, creating billions of copies of the genome for each starting virus,” Alm told the outlet. […]

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