Omicron Variant Found In Wastewater
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in our local wastewater. The Livingston County Health Department says the Sewershed Surveillance Project, a collaborative effort between Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the University of Missouri (MU) reported the variant was detected locally.
The genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 can be present in human waste even when individuals have no symptoms. Tracking the amount of viral genetic material (viral load) in wastewater is an emerging method of monitoring trends of the virus in communities.
The health center reports the sewershed surveillance cannot tell us the number of individuals currently infected with COVID-19. However, as data is collected and trends are identified, that information may be helpful to track the progression of the virus in communities and inform public health strategy.
The samples taken the week of January 3rd showed roughly 61.8% Omicron; 38% Delta variants presumed present in our wastewater.