Saskatoon waste water evaluation predicts surge of COVID-19 instances coming

The latest round of wastewater analysis in Saskatoon suggests there could be a significant spike in COVID-19 cases in the city.

According to a team of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan (USask), RNA contamination in Saskatoon’s wastewater increased 312 percent from April 16 to April 20 compared to the previous week to April 15.

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“This rapid increase in viral RNA contamination in wastewater is expected to predict a rapid rise in new cases in Saskatoon,” said a bulletin published Monday by the USask’s Global Institute for Water Security.

“The last time the viral load in the wastewater was comparable with these values ​​(November 2020), the number of cases in Saskatoon rose to> 100 per day in the following week (s).”

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Since the novel coronavirus can be detected through human feces before a person could show symptoms, the analysis is seen as a signal of what the COVID-19 case numbers might look like seven to ten days later.

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Worrying variant B.1.1.7, first discovered in the UK, accounts for 86 percent of the viral RNA load in Saskatoon’s sewage – a seven percent increase from the previous week, the researchers said.

The P1 variant, first detected in Brazil, and B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, were not found in the wastewater from Saskatoon.

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