Waste analysis shows viral load doubling in Thessaloniki

Waste analysis shows viral load doubling in Thessaloniki

After scientists in Athens sounded the alarm on Monday over a 205% increase in the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 in raw sewage in the Greek capital scientists from Aristotle University said on Tuesday that a similar trend is emerging in the northern port city of Thessaloniki as well.

Measurements taken at the city’s main waste treatment plant showed a 100% rise in the virus’ presence between February 5-7 compared with February 1-3, the university’s rector, Nikos Papaioannou, who also heads the team of scientists, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Tuesday.

“We have observed a doubling of the viral load and a continuous increase in its concentration in sewage from the start of the month that is extremely worrying,” Papaioannou said, warning of the risk of Thessaloniki returning to November levels, when hospitals were struggling to cope with admissions and intubations, and the daily death toll was in the double digits.

“The identification of infections from much more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2, in combination with incidents of crowding observed over recent weeks could explain the intense upward trend in the virus’ spread through the community,” he added.

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