Stool Tests May Help Spot COVID-19 Transmission

Seemingly recovered patients still have novel coronavirus RNA in their fecal matter, new study finds


NSFW    ZHUHAI, CHINA — Health authorities might be able to detect COVID-19's spread by testing the sewers of a community for the coronavirus's RNA.

Citing a new study in Gastroenterology, British Columbia Centre of Disease Control told the CBC that wastewater testing could be an early warning system for community transmission.

According to a research team from China's Guangdong Province, traces of SARS-CoV-2's RNA have been found in the stool samples of hospitalized patients.

The study involved 73 patients of both genders whose ages ranged from 10 months to 78 years old. Stool samples of 39 patients, or 53 percent, tested positive for the coronavirus RNA."

Additionally, some patients started testing negative for the virus in respiratory samples, even as their stool samples continued to show positive results. Endoscopy indicated that the 17 patients, or 23 percent of the total, were still infected and that they may have been able to infect others via fecal-oral transmission.
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