More wastewater samples test positive to COVID-19 19 January

Fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in sewerage at three more sites in Queensland.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said viral fragments of SARS-CoV-2 had been detected at wastewater treatment plants at Merrimac (Gold Coast), Cairns North and Cannonvale (Airlie Beach area).

“While this does not mean we have new cases of COVID-19 in these communities, we are treating these detections seriously,” Dr Young said.

“A positive sewage result means that someone who has been infected was shedding the virus. Infected people can shed viral fragments and that shedding can happen for several weeks after the person is no longer infectious.”

The samples were collected from the wastewater treatment plants last week.

“I continue to urge anyone who feels unwell in these communities to get tested and isolate,” Dr Young said.

“Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of taste or smell.

“If there is a case we are not yet aware of, it is critical we detect it through our testing mechanisms as quickly as possible to contain any potential spread.”

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