Monitoring wastewater for viral load estimates outbreak size In just a few weeks, in Pretoria S. Africa (north of Johannesburg) viral load detected in wastewater has reached similar levels as the peak of Delta This at least indicates that transmission may be remarkably swift

Nov 29, 2021 · 1:12 AM UTC

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More information on this metric can be found here. IMO this offers a fairly unbiased view into viral load at a population level which, barring major changes in the viral loads within individuals, can be extrapolated to an extent to cases or prevalence across a population.
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From above, Many are asking a very reasonable question: If detected cases are low but wastewater viral loads high, does this mean most cases are so mild that are going undetected? This is one hypothesis. The other is wastewater is a leading indicator. Time will tell.
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I expect wastewater is leading indicator & clinical cases/hospitalizations will rise. Do I know this for sure? Nope. But there isn’t much in this virus sequence suggesting it should be very mild On other hand, Delta just blew through S Africa which should offer protection today
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Replying to @michaelmina_lab
Wonder what the severity of disease is in vaccinated folks, and transmission levels in them…
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Replying to @michaelmina_lab
Can they distinguish variants from waste water?
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Replying to @michaelmina_lab
Good detective work! Appears that there was rampant infection transmission in the younger population there.
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Replying to @michaelmina_lab
Wastewater measurements are my new fav out of the box response to the pandemic.
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