Updates: 10/26/2021 11:17 AM
Released: 26.10.2021, 11:17
Prague – The analysis of wastewater samples, which is used to map the covid-19 epidemic, will spread from Prague to Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen. The State Institute of Public Health (SZÚ) announced it today in Press Release. Sewage monitoring makes it possible to obtain relatively accurate information about the occurrence of the virus in a given locality, with a audience of several days before the clinical signs of the disease. The data obtained may help to take measures against the spread of coronavirus in advance.
The Czech Republic is thus joining the European pilot project to detect mutations and variants of coronavirus in wastewater. In Prague, monitoring is currently carried out by experts from the University of Chemical Technology (ICT).
“Information on the occurrence of the virus can be used to quickly take effective hygienic-epidemiological measures based on objective data. Monitoring also captures viruses from infected individuals without symptoms. In addition, the body eliminates the virus before patients feel symptoms. to provide this access, according to the findings so far, information for about ten days, “said the director of the State Institute of Public Health Barbora Macková.
Regularly twice a week, trained water supply and sewerage workers will take samples of wastewater in the backbone sewers in Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen. The collected material is then examined by PCR in the laboratories of the Health Institute in Ostrava and the State Health Institute in Prague.
Positive findings with the occurrence of coronavirus will be further examined by so-called PCR, in the case of whole genome sequencing to accurately determine the mutation or variant of the virus, the SZÚ informed. The result will be given to the relevant hygiene stations and the Ministry of Health, which can take them into account when taking anti-epidemic measures.
“This, if it proves successful in practice, could allow us to monitor entire cities and other selected locations, such as a snapshot of people at mass events, without everyone having to take tests individually,” Macková added.
In addition to the State Institute of Public Health and the Institute of Public Health based in Ostrava, the TG Masaryk Water Management Research Institute, several universities, hygienic stations and companies that take care of water supply and sewerage in the given cities also participate in the monitoring. It will be introduced gradually by the end of this year and in the first half of 2022.
The method of monitoring the development of the covid-19 epidemic is based on the fact that most of the infected massively excrete virus residues in the stool, and the viral RNA thus enters the wastewater. During the analysis of samples in Prague, scientists from the Institute of Chemical Technology, based on long-term monitoring, stated that the amount of viral RNA in wastewater clearly correlates with the course of the epidemic. At the beginning of October, they pointed out that, according to this, three to five thousand people infected with covid were moving in the capital in the second half of September. At that time, the Ministry of Health registered only less than 1,200 of them in the city.