Health Authorities in Spain Detect Covid-19 Traces in Barcelona’s Residual Waste as Early as March 2019

Water Waste: COVID traces in Barcelona, Spain Credit: Shutterstock

Health Authorities in Spain have tested residual waste samples from Barcelona and discovered traces of Covid-19 as early as March 2019.

Investigators from the University of Barcelona have identified traces of the SARS-Cov-2 virus in samples from wastewater that were recovered from the Barcelona plant in March of 2019.

This means that the virus could have been circulating around the area much earlier than authorities expected.

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The investigators defrosted samples of residual waters which showed that on January 15 the virus was already present, more than 40 days before the first official case of Covid-19 was detected.

The coordinator of the project, Albert Bosch, contends that the “SARS-CoV-2 genome levels clearly coincided with the evolution of Covid-19 cases in the population,” and that having detected this virus a month in advance, “would have allowed for a better response to the pandemic.”


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