The nauseating, disgusting way NJ is now tracking COVID-19 (Opinion)
Remember the TV show “House” where the doctor played by Hugh Laurie would get this utterly mind-blown look every episode when he had his medical epiphany to crack a difficult case?
After hearing about the disturbing way they are now testing areas of the country for early signs of COVID-19 I think I might have that mind-blown look permanently plastered on my face.
Yes, they’re tracking you through your sewage. And you might just feel a little violated.
Now they’re not tracking any one particular person’s, but rather the collective sewage from a community at wastewater treatment plants. If that only makes it more disgusting to you, I hear ya.
Buckle up. The rest of this is going to get nasty.
Experts say while coronavirus spreads through coughing and sneezing and airborne means, up to 80% of people infected have traces of it in their feces. So surveillance of wastewater provides an early indication that a given area of the country or state will soon become a hotbed for COVID-19 because infected people start shedding the virus in their feces very soon after infection. Possibly before any symptoms. Thus if the collective numbers at wastewater plants are on the rise it predicts an outbreak.
With all due respect to the men and women of science… ewwwww.
Kartik Chandran with Columbia University has correctly predicted New Jersey COVID-19 trends this way in the most populated northern region of our state.
“The way science works, seeing the presence of COVID-19 in our data two to three weeks before the positive case (numbers) come in can be both scary and exciting,” Chandran told nj.com. “It’s scary because we don’t know what the next disease might show up that we have to deal with. And it’s exciting because it allows us to make progress that can actually benefit human health.”
Turns out this has been going on since 2020. That’s when the CDC started the National Wastewater Surveillance System. A bit late to the game, New Jersey became the 38th state to participate in March with the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission joining the program. Columbia University’s studies have been separate and centered on Bergen County facilities.
Of course for those who never took the virus seriously the "Dr. Fauci being full of something" jokes can now write themselves.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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