In New York City Sewage, a Mysterious Coronavirus Signal
Source: New York Times
Last January, a team of researchers searching for the coronavirus in New York Citys wastewater spotted something strange in their samples. The viral fragments they found had a unique constellation of mutations that had never been reported before in human patients a potential sign of a new, previously undetected variant.
For the past year, these oddball sequences, or what the scientists call cryptic lineages, have continued to pop up in the citys wastewater.
There is no evidence that the lineages, which have been circulating for at least a year without overtaking Delta or Omicron, pose an elevated health risk to humans. But the researchers, whose findings were published in Nature Communications on Thursday, still have no idea where they came from.
At this point, what we can say is that we havent found the cryptic lineages in human databases, and we have looked all over, said Monica Trujillo, a microbiologist at Queensborough Community College and an author of the new paper.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/health/coronavirus-wastewater-new-york.html
Fascinating science story.
Or don't they do stuff like that?
But there are probably hosts in the sewer. If white-tailed deer can carry the virus, maybe sewer rats can too.
Rodents have not been particularly strong hosts and the rat theory has some flaws, but it's certainly a possibility.
Cats can have the virus and spread it to other animals. I also learned that among a variety of mammals found in NYC, skunks live there.
Thanks for sharing this, greenjar_01.