A study by the Italian Higher Institute of Health on wastewater concluded that the coronavirus had been present in Italy at least since last December. Specifically, the results, confirmed in the two different laboratories by two different methods, have shown the presence of SARS-Cov-2 RNA in samples taken in Milan and Turin on 12/18/2019 and in Bologna on 01/29/2020. Positive samples were also found in the same cities in the following months of January and February 2020, while the samples from October and November 2019, as well as all the control samples, gave negative results.
These types of studies have been launched as a great tool to find out possible outbreaks and to locate and control possible new outbreaks. “Our results confirm consolidated international evidence on the strategic role of virus surveillance in samples taken regularly in sewers and at the entrance of treatment plants, as a tool to detect and monitor the circulation of the virus in different territories at an early stage, supporting the fundamental information of integrated, microbiological and epidemiological surveillance, “said the director of the Department of Water Quality and Health, Luca Lucentini. this reason Spain will imminently begin a campaign to track wastewater and bathing in search of coronaviruses.
The campaign started by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, will have data from the wastewater treatment plants of “all the Spanish river basins” and will focus on the analysis of those that “contain effluents from hospitals, tourist areas or airports” in order to locate possible new infection centers. These studies will be carried out weekly and will last for at least the next nine months. The selection of priority areas for analysis will be made based on the degree of involvement of the coronavirus and the risk of new outbreaks appearing.