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Israel takes crack at sniffing out COVID outbreaks in people’s poop

8 7 21

Citizens of 14 cities will be able to do their civic, er, duty to help identify early COVID-19 outbreaks by simply visiting the john, as Israel launches a pilot program to analyze sewage for signs of the coronavirus.

The program will also include the campus of a university, which believes it will help to ensure a safe return to studies.

Early in the pandemic Israeli scientists developed the know-how to document where outbreaks are occurring based on the level of genetic material or proteins of the virus found in feces. They said that as the virus can show up in feces very early after infection, it has significant potential as an early-warning system as local outbreaks are just beginning.

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But the government didn’t implement monitoring programs, and the technology was stuck for months at the stage of research and a single-city pilot in Ashkelon.

Now, sewage from Jerusalem, Kfar Saba, Netanya, Beersheba and 10 other Israeli cities is being analyzed, after the Health Ministry agreed to fund a large pilot project with a view to rolling........

© The Times of Israel

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