Israeli wastewater analysis takes the ‘blood test of a city,’ giving early warning of outbreaks and data to limit lockdowns.
Kando, an Israeli wastewater management company ( https://www.kando.eco/) is running a pilot project seeking traces of ARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the municipal sewage system of Ashkelo.
During initial findings the results suggested that tracking coronavirus remnants in the sewer network is a more efficient gauge of the extent of outbreaks than testing individuals – especially since many people show no symptoms or delayed symptoms of Covid-19.
By alerting municipal authorities and offering actionable insights, the company intended to help cities around the world prevent wholesale lockdowns and mitigate future outbreaks.
The coastal city of Ashkelon (population 150,000) was chosen as the pilot site as it was believed to have a low number of cases, aside from the city’s “coronavirus hotels” housing recovering Covid-19 patients. The researchers discovered significant remnants of the coronavirus in municipal wastewater, indicating early detection of outbreaks in local neighborhoods.
The Kando method includes input from experts in disciplines including virology, water engineering, medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics and public health policy. Their unique methodology enables the company to detect and trace the presence of the virus and calculate its concentration with these substances factored into the equation, and to integrate epidemiological evidence in order to pinpoint emerging Covid-19 hotspots. This will allow authorities to take actions to contain future outbreaks.
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