COVID-19 DETECTED IN WASTEWATER PLANTS IN FINLAND
An increase in coronavirus was seen in samples taken at several wastewater treatment plants in Finland last month, the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) announced on Tuesday, the Yle news agency reported on September 9, 2020.
The virus was detected in wastewater treatment plants of five cities where confirmed cases of the disease have not been seen in some time. "The fact that the virus is present in effluent where no infections have been detected is a warning sign. There may be unidentified infected people in the area and the virus can circulate within the area's population," THL's specialist researcher Tarja Pitkänen said in an agency statement.
In samples taken last month, coronavirus was found in the wastewater plants in the cities of Jyväskylä, Hämeenlinna, Kuopio, Lappeenranta and Kouvola. Follow-up samples were collected on August 23-24 and August 30-31.
Due to the disparity between the presence of the virus in the water and lack of recent confirmed COVID cases, THL warned there may be infected individuals unknowingly spreading the disease to others in those communities. The agency noted that no coronavirus infections had been detected in the Kouvola area for five weeks before water samples were examined.
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