Decline in wastewater coronavirus speeds up
The coronavirus level in Gothenburg wastewater continues to fall, now slightly faster than before, the latest measurements and analyses from the University of Gothenburg show.
Concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in the wastewater in Gothenburg are still trending down, this time more sharply than the week before. The latest measurements and analyses are based on samples taken in the week of February 14–20.
The level remains high in terms of the past two-year period overall, but no longer exceeds every peak in the first, second and third waves of the pandemic.
“It’s still heading down, and we’re now below some of the previous peaks,” says Heléne Norder, adjunct professor at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and microbiologist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Five weeks of decline
Wave four of the pandemic has been underway since mid-December, the relative quantity of SARS-CoV-2 in the Gothenburg wastewater shows. The record mid-January peak gave way to the decline that has now lasted five weeks.
In the previous week, the scientists found that the newer subvariant of omicron, BA.2, far outweighed BA.1. The latest weekly measurements and analyses have not yet provided answers to the relative proportions of the various omicron types.
The surveys of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater have been underway for two years, since mid-February 2020, in collaboration with municipally owned Gryaab. This company, which treats wastewater in Gothenburg and its surrounding municipalities, sends the scientists one sample a week composed of daily samples.
Measuring the spread
The research group continuously reports its results to care providers and the Infection Control Unit in Region Västra Götaland. To a varying extent, the increasing prevalence of coronavirus in the wastewater, showing the rising incidence of disease in society, has allowed prediction of workload peaks in health care during the pandemic.
The researchers’ measurements and analyses have become more important as the general testing program for COVID-19 in the population has changed. Fewer people are getting tested, and ever less can be inferred about the spread of infection in society from the number of confirmed cases.
Contact: Heléne Norder, phone +46 702 791 999, email firstname.lastname@example.org