Latvian scientists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in untreated wastewater and are now developing monitoring methods to track its spread in the environment.
The scientists analysed samples from several wastewater systems in Latvia, and the presence of the novel coronavirus was detected in one of them, according to a press release by Riga Technical University (RTU), published by the Latvian public broadcaster LSM.
The scientists are now developing a monitoring system that will help develop standards, for example, for employees of sewage services to use protective masks or for people to close toilet lids before flushing.
However, there is no evidence that the virus in the wastewater can cause further infections.
The scientists will continue analysing water samples from treatment plants, hospitals and cities in the country.
The study is carried out by Riga Technical University together with the Latvian Biomedical Research and Studies Center (BMC) and the Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment (BIOR).