Finnish epidemiologists have decided to track the spread of COVID-19 in the country by looking for the virus material in waste water.
The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare THL stated on Tuesday, April 21, that similar testing has been conducted in parts of the US and Australia. Research had indicated that the genetic material of the coronavirus, its RNA, can be detected and identified in untreated sewage.
The THL now intends to conduct sampling at waste water facilities in several parts of the country on a weekly or monthly basis.
«While a regular coronavirus test shows if an individual is infected, the waste water study will show the level of contagion among the population in different localities,» explained THL researcher Tarja Pitkänen. The service underscored that coronavirus is not threat to the safety of drinking water in Finland as the methods of water purification used at treatment plants kill viruses.