The COVID-19 delta variant is showing up in sewage systems in the US state of Missouri where samples are collected to determine the spread of the virus, according to a local media report published Thursday.
According to KMBC news, employees at facilities across the area are noticing the delta variant more often.
The executive director of one sewer district has overseen weekly samplings “to track just how far and wide COVID-19 and its variants might be spreading for the sewer district serving 370,000 residents in Eastern Jackson County,” KMBC reported.
“It gives an early warning to the medical professionals, you know, if numbers are climbing or going to be climbing, we’ll see it in the wastewater, usually a couple days before it actually shows up in emergency rooms and urgent care centers,” Jeff Shook was quoted as saying.
According to the report, most treatment plants processing samples across the state have reported seeing the delta variant over the past few weeks.
“It’s good to have that early indication that those (variants) are present in the community,” Jeff Wenzel, chief environmental epidemiologist for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, told KMBC.
According to the epidemiologist, the state’s health department is tracking wastewater at more than 90 facilities throughout the Missouri.