Letter, 5/21: Test sewage for COVID-19

Letter, 5/21: Test sewage for COVID-19

Coronavirus Outbreak

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, gray, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. 

The May 13 Journal Star contained a most interesting article titled "Analyzing our sewage could be key tool," in regard to a community, state or country determining its current COVID-19 status:

"In the Netherlands, a research team was able to detect the virus in one city's sewage before local officials had even reported any case of COVID-19."

"Key tool" may be the understatement of the year. Health officials continue their diatribe that we must continue testing individuals, theoretically by the millions it would seem, to guess an area's COVID-19 status -- is it still on the increase, no change, or is it finally decreasing? And will it subsequently multiply per the surge predicted by so many health officials.

Many, if not most, larger communities in several foreign countries (France, Netherlands, India, Israel, etc.) test their sewage per routine, including testing for the SARS virus. COVID-19 is a SARS virus. If sewage tests can imply and/or predict the status of the virus, doesn't sewage testing for COVID-19 seem a vital area of where our current anti-COVID-19 efforts should be focused?

R. Scott Sandquist, Lincoln

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