Wastewater Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Nova Scotia
Although COVID-19 is considered a respiratory illness, the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been found in the feces of people infected with the virus. It is known that the virus survives longer in the gastrointestinal tract than in the respiratory tract. As such, wastewater has been used to determine the presence of the virus either before someone develops symptoms; receives a positive test result; or is an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. On a larger scale, wastewater may be monitored for SARS-CoV-2 to learn more about the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in a given population. By applying this method to a province-wide monitoring program, we will gather baseline data for SARS-CoV-2 occurrence in wastewater in vulnerable communities and learn more about the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 prevalence that may result from individuals traveling to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic Region.