Monkeypox in Bay Area wastewater

Latest data They suggest that DNA can also be detected in a variety of bodily fluids from those infected. This includes respiratory and nasal secretions, saliva, urine, feces and semen – so a cleaned tissue from someone with can register the virus in .

If a pathogen’s genetic footprint can remain in wastewater for more than 24 hours, SCAN can likely detect it. Covid-19 viral RNA remains in wastewater for more than 10 days. While monkeypox DNA appears to exceed the 24-hour threshold, there isn’t any public research into how long it takes.

There is a question as to how much monkeypox DNA would have to go into the wastewater for SCAN to actually detect it. SCAN can detect covid in wastewater from at least two infected people out of 100,000.

Even in a state like California that keeps sewers and waterways separate, rain dilutes the amount of viral DNA in wastewater. To account for this, SCAN normalizes its estimates using a virus with a well-defined expected quantity – pepper light speck virus. Healthy people secrete the harmless virus after eating chili and chili-based products, making it the most abundant RNA virus in human feces (aptly very stable in water as well).

Orange dots appear to be a series of green ridges and scattered throughout the tube.
A scanning electron micrograph of monkeypox virus (orange) on infected cells (green).


There is no evidence that you can get monkeypox from the wastewater itself. What causes human-to-human transmission is prolonged close contact with an infected person that directly exposes you to their rash, bodily fluids or respiratory droplets. world Health Organization. Bedding and clothing from those with monkeypox can also spread the virus.

Monkeypox has its own vaccine. The smallpox vaccine, which the USA keeps in national stocks, also provides protection against it. However, public access to monkeypox testing, treatment and vaccines is still limited. Studying wastewater can help public health officials detect monkeypox outbreaks and determine where to invest resources without extensive testing.

Wastewater surveillance can also detect new variants of monkeypox, two of which are currently circulating in the US. Almost all of the current outbreak is driven by the West African strain of monkeypox, a specific test of SCAN. This strain is more contagious than the other strain, known as the Congo Basin wing, but much less deadly. In recent years, monkeypox has killed 3 to 6 percent of those it infects and is more deadly in young children. This year, monkeypox has killed three people worldwide.

SCAN is currently the only effort to publish data on monkeypox in wastewater. “The is at the forefront of wastewater surveillance because we are Silicon Valley, after all,” says Boehm. “But that’s not because there is monkeypox in California’s wastewater and nowhere else.”

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